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The Migration Crisis in the Mediterranean

On 29th July, The City Law School hosted a panel discussion titled, “The Migration Crisis in the Mediterranean: Legal and Policy Issues Arising from the EU Response”. Panellisrs explored some of the legal and policy Issues emerging from the European Union (EU) response to the migration crisis unfolding in North Africa and Europe.

Flag of the European Union

The event was held under the joint auspices of the Institute for the Study of European Laws, the International Law and Affairs Group and the Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Law.

In order to tackle the problem of migrants travelling to Europe by boat and those responsible for smuggling them across the Mediterranean Sea, the EU has considered taking a number of extraordinary measures. Some of these measures involve the EU assuming an unprecedented and direct enforcement role. Examples of this include: attacking boats suspected of being used for smuggling in North African waters; deploying intelligence and security services in North Africa to target smugglers; detaining migrants in enhanced security zones in Southern Europe; using accelerated procedures and extended detention in prisons to process and expel migrants; forcibly fingerprinting new arrivals; and authorising EU border guards to carry out expulsions themselves.

This panel considered the legal issues raised by some of the proposed policies in terms of their compliance with EU law, human rights law and international law on the use of force.


Professor Sir Alan Dashwood, The City Law School

Professor Elspeth Guild, Jean Monnet Professor, Queen Mary College, University of London and Radboud University, Nijmegen

Professor Archilles Skordas, Professor of Public International Law, University of Bristol, Visiting Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

Professor Daniel Wilsher, The City Law School

Dr Itamar Mann, National Security Law Fellow, Center on National Security and the Law at Georgetown University’s Georgetown Law Center, Washington DC.

Professor Panos Koutrakos, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at The City Law School


International Law

International Law is the collection of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states and between nations. It serves as a framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations.

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