A court room in Milan (archive)
A court room in Milan (archive)

Italy has seen a decrease in asylum claims while the number of appeals against their rejection has shot up in recent years, leading to special sections being set up in courts

A sharp rise in appeals filed against asylum request rejections has led to Italy setting up special sections in courts and a streamlining of the procedure itself. Italy's judiciary's self-governing body, the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura (CSM), reports more than 46,000 appeals denied requests for asylum in 2016, with the same number of proceedings. It has called for measures to be introduced to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, the interior ministry said that asylum requests had dropped and that 58 percent of those filed were rejected in June. 

Decree to handle rising number of appeals 

An attempt to address the issue was made through a decree establishing 26 special sections in judicial offices tasked specifically with immigration proceedings. The decree also streamlined the appeals process and was flanked by data showing that rejections for asylum requests had increased by a whopping 300 percent in early 2016 in some places compared with the previous year. 

Regional breakdown of asylum requests 

At the Milan Court, for example, there were 591 proceedings for international protection registered in 2013. In 2014, there were 636 and in 2015, there were 1,674. In the following year in 2016, there were 400 a month in the first six months.

Turin had similar figures, with 350 proceedings per month in the first six months of 2016. In Catania and Ancona, there was an increase of more than 300 percent in appeals proceedings in 2015 compared to 2014. In the district appeals courts of Caltanissetta, Catanzaro, Cagliari and Florence, proceedings in 2015 were up by about 50 percent. Rome had 1,595 proceedings in 2013, 1,973 in 2014 and 1,580 in 2015 through July 29, with new registered proceedings expected to reach 2,700 by the end of that year, a 70 percent increase on 2013 figures.

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