Mediterranean Death Trip – The Mare Internum as the Graveyard of International Obligations

Marie-Laure Basilien-Gainche


This article examines the situation of the boat people of Europe. Given that this issue affects some politically sensitive and legally delicate notions, including for example the sovereignty and jurisdiction of States, provisions and scopes of norms, nature and control of borders, rights and protection of migrants, and imputability and responsibility of acts, it is important to exercise care and rigor. In light of this, the article questions them all via the international obligations the States have to respect. The legal regimes that are to be applied to the boat people of Europe are scrutinized, examining the uncertain spaces at the margins of law and rights that the boat people of Europe have entered.

Published on 2nd February, 2016, in World Social and Economic Review No 6, February 2016 – Europe in Crisis