The missing obligation to disembark persons rescued at sea

Abstract : Since 2015, several European NGOs have developed rescuing activities in the Mediterranean Sea, in response of the great amount of death of mi-grants trying to reach the European border. The activities of these NGOs raise a number of legal issues, namely the compatibility with international law of their activity, the right for a coastal State to order a private ship to stop while in the high seas, or the question of disembarkation of the persons rescued at sea. This last point will be the object of the paper. Do coastal States have an obligation under international law to disembark rescued people on their ter-ritory? This issue is topical since Malta, Italy and France are systematically denying NGO vessels the right to disembark their passengers in their national ports. This paper will address this legal issue and argue that neither general international law, nor law of the sea, nor human rights law provide for such an obligation. However, the obligation can be found, under certain conditions, in European Union law.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 18, 2019 - 8:02:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 6:41:41 AM

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Kiara Neri. The missing obligation to disembark persons rescued at sea. The Italian Yearbook of International Law 2018(28) / F. Francioni, N. Ronzitti, G. Sacerdoti, R. Pavoni (eds), p. 47-62, Brill/Nijhoff, 660 p., 2019, 9789004422292. ⟨hal-02369250⟩

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