Italy's migration and security decree - commonly referred to as the Salvini decree, after the country's interior minister who championed its introduction -
has been declared not retroactively applicable by Italy's top court, the supreme Court of Cassation.
The new, more restrictive criteria of the Salvini decree will not apply to asylum seekers who submitted their requests for protection before October 5, 2018, when the new law went into effect. This means that people can still be issued permits for "serious humanitarian reasons," a protection category that the decree abolished. (The decree restricts permits to individual risk of persecution or torture, need for medical care, and exceptional disasters.)
If the prior applications meet requirements, the new permit will be issued as a "special case," a category provided for by the new decree, with a two-year duration. When the permit expires, the regulations of the Salvini decree will apply.
Most protection requests filed before decree issued
In recent times, the number of migrants arriving in Italy has decreased significantly. Since the decree went into effect, there have been only 2,300 migrant arrivals. Therefore, the bulk of the protection requests that are currently being processed were made prior to the new law's enactment.
The Court of Cassation's ruling was the first case regarding the Salvini decree. It examined an appeal by a citizen from Guinea who was denied international or humanitarian protection by the Court of Naples, which maintained that the citizen was an economic migrant.