Sara Tonolo

The Relevance of International Obligations for the Protection of the Private and Family Life of Asylum Seekers in Law No. 50 of May 5, 2023

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Decree no. 20/2023, as converted into Law no. 50/23, once again amended Italian Legislative Decree no. 286/98. This is a reform affecting fundamental rights and guarantees, and specifically concerns the protection of the private and family life of asylum seekers, although it also concerns in a more general way other forms of so-called complementary protection, implementing the right of asylum (Art. 10, paragraph 3, Italian Constitution). Special protection on grounds of the protection of private and family life has not been removed from the Italian legal system, but its implementation has become more complex for two reasons. On the one hand, the possibility of submitting an application to the Quaestor on the grounds set out in the rules repealed by the reform has been abolished, thus making the assessment of the relevance of the protection of private and family life an element that the terri-torial commissions will be able to examine but within the framework of an ordinary procedure nec-essarily based on hearing the applicant, and not in the context of an opinion to be rendered to the Quaestor on the basis of mere documentary evidence, with the consequence of making it much more difficult for applicants to assert this fundamental right. On the other hand, the new regulation has eliminated the criteria that legislative decree no. 286/98, consistently with the provisions of Art. 10, 3rd paragraph of the Italian Constitution, had provided for in order to guide legal operators in deter-mining the applicant's personal and family ties in Italy, thus making more complex the activity of legal operators, who will necessarily have to refer to the principles developed by case law to interpret constitutional and international obligations, in order to evaluate the applicant’s social roots in Italy.


  • international protection
  • complementary forms of protection
  • private life
  • family life
  • the role of domestic courts in ensuring the respect for obligations arising from international treaties


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