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IT: Civil court applied the Haqbin judgment in a case concerning withdrawal of reception conditions.

Input Provided By
EUAA Reception Network
Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
Revised Reception Conditions Directive (Directive 2013/33/EU laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection) and/or RCD 2003/9/CE;
Italy, Civil Court [Tribunali], Applicant v Ministry of the Interior (Ministero dell'interno), no 387/2020, 16 December 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

By application lodged on 26 August 2016, the applicant challenged the decision issued by the Prefect of Isernia by which it was ordered to withdraw the reception measures pursuant to Article 23 (e) of Legislative Decree No 142 of 18 August 2015. 

The Administrative Tribunal of Molise held that the question referred in the present case had already been addressed by the Council of State (Consiglio di Stato) in Opinions No 1271/2020, No 1278/2020 and No 1832/2020. The court noted that Article 23 of Legislative Decree No 142 of 18 August 2015 provides that the Prefect is to order, by means of a reasoned decree, the withdrawal of reception measures in the event of a serious or repeated breach of the rules of the facilities in which the asylum applicant is accommodated, including intentional damage to movable or immovable property, or seriously violent behaviour (Article 23 (e)). 

The court also noted the CJEU Grand Chamber judgment in Haqbin (Case C-233/2018, 12 November 2019) in which it was held that Article 20 (4) and (5) of Directive 2013/33/EU, read in the light of Article 1 of the EU Charter, "must be interpreted as meaning that a Member State cannot, among the sanctions that may be imposed on an applicant for serious breaches of the rules of the accommodation centres as well as seriously violent behaviour, provide for a sanction consisting in the withdrawal, even temporary, of material reception conditions, within the meaning of Article 2(f) and (g) of the directive, relating to housing, food or clothing, in so far as it would have the effect of depriving the applicant of the possibility of meeting his or her most basic needs. The imposition of other sanctions under Article 20(4) of the directive must, under all circumstances, comply with the conditions laid down in Article 20(5) thereof, including those concerning the principle of proportionality and respect for human dignity."

The court further observed that judgments of the CJEU have direct effect in the domestic legal order of the Member States, in the same way as regulations and directives, in so far as they bind both national authorities and courts to disapply the national rules which conflict with them. The interpretation of EU law given by the CJEU is therefore immediately applicable in national law and the national court must disapply provisions of that law which are incompatible with it. Thus, in the light of the Haqbin judgment, the court disapplied, in the present case, Article 23 (e) of Legislative Decree No 142/2015, upholding the appeal.

Country of Decision
Court Name
IT: Civil Court [Tribunali]
Case Number
no 387/2020
Date of Decision
Country of Origin