Italy – Regional Administrative Tribunal rules on proportionality of withdrawal of reception conditions

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

On 11 December 2018, the Regional Administrative Tribunal of Tuscany decided in a case concerning the withdrawal of reception conditions for two asylum applicants, who had participated in a protest in early 2018.

According to the contested administrative measures, the applicants had staged a protest at the reception centre they had been admitted to, during which they had threatened the manager of the centre, blocking his exit out of the building. Moreover, they generally disregarded the staff members’ remarks, refusing to sign the reception facility’s regulatory framework, which imposed evening hours of return and Italian language classes.

The applicants sought to annul the decisions before the Administrative Tribunal of Tuscany, claiming that the authorities did not carry out an appropriate investigation into the case and failed to adequately reason the measures. In addition to this, the authorities did not address the applicants’ living conditions, including the substandard food distribution services and the absence of cultural mediators from Italian language classes. Lastly, the applicants complain that the measures were disproportionate to the actual gravity of their alleged behaviour, adding that there had been no criminal investigation regarding the incident.

The Tribunal concurred with the applicant’s arguments, stressing that the protest alone cannot constitute a legitimate ground for withdrawal of reception conditions, without any further elaboration on the actual situation. It went on to note that the existence of a tense situation in the reception facility should have prompted the administrative authorities to examine whether there were any grounds for the applicants’ protests. In this connection, the authorities should have also consulted with representatives from the reception facility, in order to understand the overall context.

Lastly, the Tribunal observed that, in the absence of an investigation into the reasons of the protest, it could not be reasonably deduced that the applicants would exhibit criminal behaviour or act in violation of the regulatory framework in the future. The administrative measures of withdrawal were annulled.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. Many thanks to Sofia Bonatti, Legal Officer at ECRE, for helping us with the translation.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE. 



Material reception conditions
Reception conditions