Saving lives in the Mediterranean

A legal analysis of Aquarius-like incidents

While the interception of boats packed with migrants has become a daily routine in the last decade in the Mediterranean region, irregular migration by sea is neither a new nor solely a Mediterranean phenomenon. Nonetheless, the recent case of Aquarius ignited political debates full of hatred and imposed a renewed thorough legal analysis of the phenomenon. In this article, the authors identify the applicable legal regimes, as well as their possible limits, which enables the design of new or alternative approaches to Aquarius-like incidents.