EASO’s support to the Specialised Sections of Tribunals in Italy

In 2019, the Ministry of Justice and the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura (CSM) requested EASO’s support in addressing the backlog of pending cases in the Tribunals’ Specialised Sections for international protection by providing administrative and research support in view of the judges’ processing of international protection related appeals.


In June 2019, the backlog of cases in second instance reached the significant number of 73,504 pending cases, posing challenges for the Specialised Sections.

EASO, the Ministry of Justice and each Tribunal defined general working instructions for EASO Research Officers and Cultural Mediators, and additional arrangements described in the Italy Operating Plan 2020.

EASO’s support intends to provide technical, organisational, content-related, and language interpretation support to the reduction of backlog by Tribunals, and, hence, to improve the timeframe in which decisions are taken by the competent judicial authorities.

The intervention also intends to improve the quality of file preparation through a dedicated intervention on Country of Origin Information (COI) research.

The activity started in January 2020, when the so-called Pilot Project was launched. EASO started supporting six Specialised Sections of the Italian Tribunals in processing international protection related cases, through the deployment of 15 Research Officers. 


In March 2020, Phase II of the implementation of the Measure took place, involving 12 Tribunals in the project. 22 new Research Officers were thus recruited and trained before starting supporting the respective Specialised Sections. 

Finally, in May 2020, the remaining 17 personnel were selected and trained, reaching the overall number of 54 Research Officers. Starting from June 2020, they will begin supporting the remaining Tribunals, reaching the total number of 26 Specialised Sections involved in the project.

The preventive measures related to the COVID-19 spread did not stop the activities, with the sole exception for hearings that have suffered a temporary suspension as per national legislation.

At the end of May 2020, around 2,500 files had been prepared, together with 1,700 COI researches, 770 Jurisprudence researches and 100 Doctrinal researches.

In light of the positive feedback received from the national authorities, a discussion on the possible extension of EASO’s support to higher judicial authorities is already ongoing.


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