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Criminalizing Irregular Immigration and the Returns Directive: An Analysis of the El Dridi Case

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Abstract After its judgment in the Kadzoev case, the Court of Justice has been called again to interpret the Returns Directive and its scope of application in the El Dridi case: this new ruling put an end to the situation of judicial chaos and to the very intense debate which followed non-transposition of the directive in Italian legislation. The judgment in the El Dridi case clarifies the difference between criminal detention and pre-return detention, as well as the objectives of the Returns Directive and its scope of application. This ruling will have far-reaching consequences not only on the Italian criminal and expulsions system, but also on the national legislation of a number of Member States.

Affiliations: 1: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa Italy


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