1st Edition

Fundamental Rights Challenges in Border Controls and Expulsion of Irregular Immigrants in the European Union Complaint Mechanisms and Access to Justice

Edited By Sergio Carrera, Marco Stefan Copyright 2020
    308 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume examines the extent to which the various authorities and actors currently performing border management and expulsion-related tasks are subject to accountability mechanisms capable of delivering effective remedies and justice for abuses suffered by migrants and asylum seekers.

    Member states of the European Union and State Parties to the Council of Europe are under the obligation to establish complaint mechanisms allowing immigrants and/or asylum seekers to seek effective remedies in cases where their rights are violated. This book sheds light on the complaint bodies and procedures existing and available in Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Romania. It assesses their role in overseeing, investigating, and redressing cases of human rights violations deriving from violent border and immigration management practices, and expedited expulsion procedures. This book therefore provides an assessment of the practical, legal, and procedural challenges that affect the possibility to lodge complaints and access remedies for human rights violations suffered at the hands of the law enforcement authorities and other security actors operating at land, air, and sea borders, or participating in expulsions procedures – in particular, joint return flights.

    The volume will be of key interest to students, scholars, and practitioners working on human rights, migration and borders, international law, European law and security studies, EU politics, and more broadly, international relations.

    Introduction  justicing Europe’s frontiers: effective access to justice in bordering and expulsion policies

    Sergio Carrera and Marco Stefan

    PART I: Complaint mechanisms in the context of border controls and expulsions at land and air borders

    1. Keeping up appearances: dubious legality and migration control at the peripheral borders of Europe. The cases of Ceuta and Melilla

    Ana López-Sala

    2. Deportations without the right to complaint: cases from Spain

    Iker Barbero and Mariona Illamola-Dausà

    3. Hungary at the border of populism and asylum

    Judit Toth

    4. Access to effective remedies for foreigners affected by decisions, actions, or inactions of the Polish Border Guard

    Maja Lysienia

    5. Human rights violations in expulsion cases and during enforced returns: Austrian law and reality

    Ulrike Brandl

    PART II: Complaint mechanisms in the context of sea borders and maritime surveillance

    6. Police accountability and human rights at the Italian borders 

    Giuseppe Campesi

    7. Search and rescue, disembarkation, and relocation arrangements in the Mediterranean: justicing maritime border surveillance operations

    Sergio Carrera and Roberto Cortinovis

    8. Border management at the external Schengen Borders: border controls, return operations, and obstacles to effective remedies in Greece

    Aikaterini Drakopoulou, Alexandros Konstantinou, and Dimitris Koros

    9. A practical evaluation of border activities in Romania: control, surveillance, and expulsions

    Madalina Moraru and Nica Felicia

    PART III: Justicing international, regional, and EU standards

    10. Complaint mechanism during return flights: the European border and Coast Guard Agency

    Jari Pirjola

    11. Mechanisms to prevent pushbacks

    Tineke Strik

    12. Human rights complaints at international borders or during expulsion procedures: international, European, and EU standards

    Sergio Carrera and Marco Stefan


    Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs unit at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and part-time Professor at the Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute in Florence. He is also Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po, France.

    Marco Stefan is Research Fellow at CEPS Justice and Home Affairs Section.

    "This is a ground-breaking volume highlighting the importance of access to justice and the rule of law in immigration proceedings and the legal and human rights challenges which arise from the proliferation of border controls in Europe. It is essential reading for scholars and practitioners with an interest and expertise in immigration, administrative, constitutional and human rights law and their European dimension." Valsamis Mitsilegas, Professor of European Criminal Law and Global Security and Deputy Dean for Global Engagement (Europe), at Queen Mary, University of London, UK