Massimo Starita

Complementary Forms of Protection in Italy and Human Rights Treaties After the Law 10 May 2023, No. 50: A Question of Interpretation

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International human rights treaties may require States parties to allow migrants to remain within their territory, even on grounds that differ from those established under the 1951 Geneva Convention or under the EU ‘qualification’ Directive. These ‘complementary’ forms of international protection cannot be considered as merely based on compassionate grounds entirely left to domestic law, as they have their source in human rights protected by international law. The Italian Decree-Law 10 March 2023, No. 20, converted by Law 5 May 2023, No. 50, significantly reduces the possibilities for migrants to accede to complementary forms of protection. However, both public administration and national judges can alleviate the impact of these new rules by interpreting them in conformity with international human rights treaties (as well as Italian Constitution). To the same end, national judges can also stress the lack of a clear intent, by Italian Parliament, to supersede international obligations in this field.


  • international protection
  • complementary forms of protection
  • relationship between stat-utes and treaties in the Italian legal order


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