The Veneto regional court has invalidated the injunction with which Venice’s Harbourmaster sought to have large cruise ships barred from entering the San Marco and Giudecca canals. Originally the injunction barred cruise ships with a gross tonnage exceeding 90,000gt. The reasons cited for this invalidation included improper investigation procedures, as an assessment of the impact of the prohibition on the private and public interests had not been conducted.

The decision, as stated in ruling no.13/2015 was taken in a session of the Regional Court in Veneto. The court, in making its decision public, stated that the injunction was illegal on two accounts: Firstly, the failure to take into account the so-called Clini-Passera decree, n.79/12, in particular article 3 which makes sea traffic closures valid only when alternative access channels are made available to replace current ones deemed impassable. Secondly, “the serious lack of proper procedures, as a rigorous study of the impact of the restrictions on public and private interests was never carried out”.

The cruise ship ban was a “knee jerk reaction” to please local protestors and Politicians without taking in to account the wider impact on the region or the country as a whole. Sadly cruise operators had already amended their ship allocations and/or ports of call with this ban in mind so, perhaps, some hasty reorganisation will now take place.

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