POSTS BY Florian Schöler

Hypocritical and Illegitimate

In March, the German Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure (‘Ministry’) amended a number of ship safety laws. While appearing standard at first glance, they are the latest attempt to obstruct the operations of civil sea-rescue NGOs, which is why this week the affected NGOs went public with their outrage at this development.

Continue Reading →

Not a Safe Place?

In an unprecedented move, the Italian government has declared Italy’s ports “unsafe” due to the COVID-19-pandemic. It did so by issuing an executive decree late Tuesday last week, seemingly in response to the rescue of 150 shipwrecked by the Sea-Eye’s Alan Kurdi. This is not the first time that the Italian government has used decrees to close its borders for sea-rescue ships. However, given the extraordinary circumstances of this case in the midst of the on-going Corona-crisis and the novel argument made by the Italian government, the decision warrants closer examination.

Continue Reading →

The Island of Hope in a Sea of Misery

On 17 January 2020, the Italian Court of Cassation (‘Court’) ruled that Carola Rackete, captain of the Sea-Watch 3, was not criminally liable for hitting an Italian Guardia di Finanza vessel and allowing 40 shipwrecked to disembark in Lampedusa in July 2019. The judgment is remarkable for its unequivocal stance on the right to disembark.

Continue Reading →