Italy: Court of Appeal condemns retroactive application of accelerated procedure

Court of Appeal of Napoli

The Court of Appeal of Naples delivered a judgment on 3 January 2018 concerning the application of the accelerated procedure under Article 28-bis of the Italian Procedure Decree.

The applicant, a Malian national whose claim had been rejected by the Territorial Commission of Caserta as “manifestly unfounded”, lodged an appeal with the first-instance Court of Naples which was dismissed as inadmissible, on the ground that the shorter time limit of 15 days under the accelerated procedure – compared to 30 days in the regular procedure – had not been complied with.

On the admissibility of the appeal, the Court of Appeal recalled that the 15-day deadline for appealing a decision taken under the accelerated procedure is only applicable in the cases listed by Article 28-bis of the Procedure Decree. It highlighted that, in order to safeguard the asylum seeker’s rights of defence, the accelerated procedure must be triggered by the Territorial Commission before a decision is taken, rather than retrospectively applied after a rejection decision has been issued following the regular procedure.

Accordingly, it annulled the ruling of the Court of Naples and examined the case on the merits, resulting in a grant of humanitarian protection.

The ruling brings welcome clarification to the use of the accelerated procedure, against the backdrop of several cases of erroneously dismissed appeals against “manifestly unfounded” decisions by the Court of Naples.

 

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