Forcible return of migrants and the European Convention on human rights - Italian authorities have recently undertaken a new policy to face migration flows from north african coasts. Since May, 6th 2009 Italian coastguard and financial police vessels have intercepted a large number of boats carrying migrants and returned them to Libya, in force of a readmission agreement between Italy and Libya. These operations, even if they take place on the high seas, have to comply with the European Convention for Human Rights, considering that the migrants fall under jurisdiction of Italian authorities within the meaning of art. 1 of the Convention. In particular, on the basis of the European Court of Human Rights case law, it can be argued that returning migrants to Libya, as long as they can be exposed to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment, is prohibited by art. 3. Moreover, art. 4 or the Fourth Protocol prohibits the collective expulsions of aliens. Notwithstanding, it’s uncertain whether forcible return of aliens is consistent with the latter provision considering that the European Court requires that aliens ‘leave the country’ in order to apply art. 4. In the end the praxis of Italian authorities is inconsistent with the Convention non-refoulement obligation deriving from art. 3.