In June 2019 the Sea Watch 3, an NGO ship carrying migrants rescued at sea, was banned to enter Italian ports and territorial waters under the so-called ‘closed ports’ policy of the Italian government. After a two-week standoff, the ship contravened the prohibition and entered the port of Lampedusa, where the captain Carola Rackete was arrested for violence against public officers. However, a judge soon ordered her release on grounds that her actions were required by the international law of the sea. This paper analyzes the main international law issues raised by this incident, notably including the legitimacy of the ban on entering Italian territorial waters and ports. It is argued that, while the ‘closure’ of the territorial sea appears to be unlawful, that of Italy’s ports does not. This reflects the deficiencies of the international law norms concerning disembarkation of people rescued at sea.

Politica dei "porti chiusi" e diritto internazionale: il caso Sea Watch 3 / Rossi, Pierfrancesco. - In: OSSERVATORIO COSTITUZIONALE. - ISSN 2283-7515. - 6(2019), pp. 48-70.

Politica dei "porti chiusi" e diritto internazionale: il caso Sea Watch 3

Rossi, Pierfrancesco
2019

Abstract

In June 2019 the Sea Watch 3, an NGO ship carrying migrants rescued at sea, was banned to enter Italian ports and territorial waters under the so-called ‘closed ports’ policy of the Italian government. After a two-week standoff, the ship contravened the prohibition and entered the port of Lampedusa, where the captain Carola Rackete was arrested for violence against public officers. However, a judge soon ordered her release on grounds that her actions were required by the international law of the sea. This paper analyzes the main international law issues raised by this incident, notably including the legitimacy of the ban on entering Italian territorial waters and ports. It is argued that, while the ‘closure’ of the territorial sea appears to be unlawful, that of Italy’s ports does not. This reflects the deficiencies of the international law norms concerning disembarkation of people rescued at sea.
Politica dei "porti chiusi" e diritto internazionale: il caso Sea Watch 3 / Rossi, Pierfrancesco. - In: OSSERVATORIO COSTITUZIONALE. - ISSN 2283-7515. - 6(2019), pp. 48-70.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/209667
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