13 Juli 2021

Two Almost Identical Chambers Doing the Same Job Twice

On July 8th, the Italian Parliament adopted in the last reading an amendment to the constitution which lowers the voting age in Senate elections from 25 to 18 years. At first glance, an ode to democracy: the amendment eventually grants the right to vote for the upper chamber of the national Parliament to some 4 million young citizens. In reality, the amendment is the (so far) last step of a fragmented and schizophrenic set of reforms that are gradually dismantling the logic of the constitution of 1948 without proposing an alternative constitutional strategy. Continue reading >>
0
09 Juli 2021
,

Visibility and Crime at Sea

On 30th June 2021, search-and-rescue activists from Sea-Watch witnessed a brutal attack by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard against a migrant vessel carrying 64 during an attempted pushback. Now, prosecutors in Sicily have launched an investigation against the Libyan Coast Guard for “attempted shipwreck.” This the first time, a European court opens an investigation against the Libyan Coast Guard, and the fact that an Italian court should do so bears legal and political importance. Continue reading >>
0
07 April 2021

The Italian “No Jab, No Job” Law

While the world tackles the thorny issues of vaccine passports and “no jab, no job” policies, on April 1st 2021 Italy became (to the best of my knowledge) the first country to enact a law specifically prescribing COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers, with non-compliance entailing removal from healthcare activities or, when this is not possible, suspension from work and wage. This may appear as an infringement of the constitutionally protected right to health as a matter of self-determination. But in fact, given the case-law of the Italian Constitutional Court, the newly enacted obligation seems to meet the requirements of the Italian Constitution. Continue reading >>
0
08 März 2021

Coping with Disloyal Cooperation in the Midst of a Pandemic: The Italian Response

The activity of the coalition Government between the Five Star Movement (5SM), the Democratic Party and other centre-left junior allies to tackle COVID-19 has been praised by some and severely criticized by others. Looking back at this first year of pandemic, a crucial problem of the Italian management of the disease and the related economic and social crises has been the lack of loyal cooperation; a principle entrenched into the Constitution (Art. 120, second para, Const.), with regard to the relationship amongst the different levels of government. Continue reading >>
24 Februar 2021

Draghi’s New Cabinet Sails but Italian Political Institutions Do not Risk Reforms

On 13 February 2021, the new Prime Minister Mario Draghi was sworn in with his ministers by President Mattarella. Draghi had received the task of forming the government on 3 February, ten days earlier. The second Conte government had resigned on 26 January. The new government won the confidence of the Senate on 17 February and that of the Chamber of Deputies on the 18th: the crisis was resolved within eighteen days (twenty-three if the two parliamentary votes are taken into account). It must be emphasized that in Italy the government does not take office after the parliamentary vote, but before, with the oath of office (Art. 93 It. Const.). This is fundamental to understand the role of the Head of State. Continue reading >>
0
23 Februar 2021

Call Me by Mum’s Name

In a recent decision, the Italian Constitutional Court took up the question of the choice of surname for newborns. In the absence of legislative reforms, it has tried to adapt the Italian legal framework, which still adheres to traditional naming practices, to constitutional and international standards of equality. This step shows the Court’s intention to counter the Parliament’s inertia on the issue. Continue reading >>
0
30 September 2020
, , ,

LawRules #2: We need to talk about Judicial Nominations

It's easy to agree that judicial independence is important – but who gets to be a part of the judiciary, who gets promoted to which court and who enters the highest ranks is a decision that has to be taken by someone, and a lot depends on who that someone is. Controlling judicial nominations is one of the key elements in all authoritarian takeover strategies which have been implemented in recent years in Poland, in Hungary and elsewhere. This is what we will discuss with the president of the European Network of Councils of the Judiciary, a member of the board of the Polish independent judges’ association IUSTITIA, and a German judge at the Bundesgerichtshof. Continue reading >>
0
09 September 2020

Constitutional Dullness

Should the number of Italy’s Members of Parliament (MPs) be reduced from 945 to 600? Italian citizens will decide on that question in a constitutional referendum that will take place in less than two weeks. While other referendums in Italian history have been vectors of remarkable civic mobilisation, this one fails to capture the constitutional imagination of Italian citizens. What could – and should – be a radical public debate about Italy’s political system and the current order, in fact revolves around pettiness and trivial constitutional engineering. Continue reading >>
24 August 2020

The Italian Government Enforces Gender Parity in Regional Elections

On 23 July 2020, the Italian government formally warned Apulia that if the region did not introduce gender parity election rules by 28 July 2020, it would do so in its place. Apulia failed to adopt a regional statute in that time frame. Thus, on 31 July 2020, the Italian government adopted Decree Law 86/2020 which essentially introduced a mechanism of “double gender preference” for the regional Parliament elections to be held on 20-21 September 2020. What is clear is that this summer’s events around the Apulia election are yet another example of the “irresistible rise of gender quotas in Europe”, where Germany increasingly stands out as the proverbial exception. Continue reading >>
0
01 Mai 2020

With Tragedy Comes Farce

The Italian Prime Minister has recently adopted the the so-called ‘Step 2’ measures. They aim to prudently alleviate the severe limitations on personal liberty imposed so far, but result in obvious uncertainty as for what exactly is forbidden – which adds to their slender ties with parliamentary legislation in exposing the legitimacy deficit of the overall crisis discipline. Particularly, the notion of ‘congiunto’ as a person that one can go visit is likely to cause tragicomic, yet remarkable, turmoil. Continue reading >>
0
14 April 2020
, ,

Not a Safe Place?

In an unprecedented move, the Italian government has declared Italy’s ports “unsafe” due to the COVID-19-pandemic. It did so by issuing an executive decree late Tuesday last week, seemingly in response to the rescue of 150 shipwrecked by the Sea-Eye’s Alan Kurdi. This is not the first time that the Italian government has used decrees to close its borders for sea-rescue ships. However, given the extraordinary circumstances of this case in the midst of the on-going Corona-crisis and the novel argument made by the Italian government, the decision warrants closer examination. Continue reading >>
0
09 April 2020

The Need for Clear Competences in Times of Crisis

All Italian institutions established at different levels of government have been at the forefront in the health emergency to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (see Diletta Tega and Michele Massa). Yet, they had to take action in the absence of a consistent legal framework establishing a clear division of competences and chain of command in the management of the emergency. The resulting legal uncertainties have been delaying the timely adoption and effective implementation of the containment measures which led to the national lockdown. Continue reading >>
0
16 März 2020

Corona Triage

Triage - this is the sorting of patients in groups to be treated preferentially or subordinately when the mass of patients vastly exceeds the available resources. It has always been a delicate and stressful procedure. The Italian Society for Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care Medicine (SIAARTI) has recently given recommendations to intensive care physicians who are currently no longer able to provide lung ventilators to all Covid-19 patients in need. The aim of those recommendations was to relieve the practitioners of the burden of taking personal responsibility for the selection decisions and to make the criteria explicit and communicable. The criteria, or so the authors propose, should also be made accessible to those affected and to their families to maintain trust in the public health service. If the criteria are now made public, one must however be allowed to comment on them. This is what I intend to do here. Continue reading >>
15 März 2020

Corona-Triage

Triage – das ist die Sortierung von Patienten in Gruppen vor- und nachrangig zu Behandelnder bei einem die verfügbaren Ressourcen weit übersteigenden Massenanfall von Bedürftigen. Das ist schon immer ein heikler und belastender Vorgang gewesen. Die italienische Gesellschaft für Anästhesie, Analgesie, Reanimations- und Intensivmedizin (SIAARTI) hat den Intensivmedizinern, die derzeit nicht mehr allen bedürftigen Covid-19-Patienten Beatmungsgeräte bereitstellen können, dazu kürzlich Empfehlungen an die Hand gegeben. Man wolle auf diesem Wege die Praktiker davon entlasten, die Auswahlentscheidungen persönlich verantworten zu müssen, und man wolle die Kriterien explizit und kommunikabel machen. Wenn die Kriterien öffentlich gemacht werden, muss man sie freilich auch kommentieren dürfen. Das möchte ich hier tun. Continue reading >>
12 März 2020
,

Coronavirus Emergency and Public Law Issues: An Update on the Italian Situation

The emergency caused by the “new” Coronavirus disease (that we discussed here) reached a new peak in Italy in the last few days, since cases have tripled compared to just a couple of days ago. Italy is now the second most affected country after China. This situation induced Italian public authorities to take new, stricter measures to try to contain the expansion of the virus. From a constitutional law perspective, the Coronavirus sheds light on the need to reconsider Italy’s “emergency constitution” . Continue reading >>
10 März 2020
, , ,

The Island of Hope in a Sea of Misery

On 17 January 2020, the Italian Court of Cassation (‘Court’) ruled that Carola Rackete, captain of the Sea-Watch 3, was not criminally liable for hitting an Italian Guardia di Finanza vessel and allowing 40 shipwrecked to disembark in Lampedusa in July 2019. The judgment is remarkable for its unequivocal stance on the right to disembark. Continue reading >>
0
18 Februar 2020
,

Private (Transnational) Power without Authority

On 9 September 2019 Facebook banned from its platforms all pages and profiles related to the Italian far-right organization “CasaPound”, for the violation of its Community Standard no. 12 (hate speech and incitement to violence). On 11 December 2019, the Tribunal of Rome (ToR) adopted the precautionary measure ordering Facebook Ireland Ltd. to restore the pages and their content and to pay the losses. The decision raises significant issues in several respects and might serve as a model to courts beyond Italy. Continue reading >>
15 Februar 2020

The Italian Constitutional Court Opens Up to Hear the Voice of Civil Society

On January 8 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court gave civil society a voice on the issues discussed before it. The Court amended the regulations governing the conduct of proceedings before it and puts itself in a position where it is able take account of expert opinions as well as civil society stakeholders. Continue reading >>
15 Januar 2020

Doch noch ein Verfassungs­referendum in Italien

Die Verkleinerung des italienischen Parlaments wurde im vergangen Oktober beschlossen, jedoch haben sich knapp vor Ablauf der Frist genügend Parlamentarier zusammengeschlossen, um die Entscheidung doch dem Wahlvolk durch ein Verfassungsreferendum zu überlassen. Die traditionelle Scheu der italienischen Wähler vor Verfassungsänderungen dürfte diesmal durch eine Annahme dieses „Reförmchens“ höchstwahrscheinlich überwunden werden. Nichtdestotrotz bestätigt das Vorgehen die Richtigkeit einer Verfassungsbestimmung, die für konstitutionelle Novellierungen einen breiten Konsens vorsieht, damit die Verfassung nicht Spielball der Tagespolitik wird. Continue reading >>
0
17 Dezember 2019

Shying Away from Strasbourg

Last week, the Italian Constitutional Court published its reasoning on a judgment regarding the so-called ergastolo ostativo (life sentence without parole). The challenged provision excludes persons convicted of serious crimes – primarily mafia-type – from a series of benefits (for example, permits and conditional release) in the event that they do not want to collaborate with the authorities. Italy’s Constitutional Court now held that this provision is not in line with the constitution but missed a chance to give full effect to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Continue reading >>
0
13 Dezember 2019

Constitution Before Administration

On 5 December 2019, Italy’s Constitutional Court nullified regional legislation which made it extremely difficult for religious minority groups to set up places of worship. The provisions in question vested the administrative authorities with nearly unfettered discretion in deciding on the approval of applications. The Constitutional Court has now made clear that the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion cannot be circumvented by administrative procedures. Continue reading >>
0
27 November 2019

Menschenrechte im Mittelmeer

Was bedeutet es Rechte zu haben? Diese Frage bekommt drängende Relevanz, wenn es um die Reichweite menschenrechtlicher Verantwortung geht, so im Fall S.S. und andere gegen Italien, der vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte anhängig ist. Der EGMR hat zu entscheiden, inwiefern die Unterstützung der libyschen Küstenwache und Koordination von Rettungsaktionen eine Verantwortung Italiens nach der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention auslöst. Continue reading >>
31 Oktober 2019

The Erosion of Italian Regionalism

Elections in the small, peaceful, politically stable region of Umbria in central Italy normally go rather unnoticed. This didn’t change when the direct election of regional presidents was introduced in 1995, making Italy the only European country with a presidential system at regional level. The stunning victory of the right not only brought Umbria into the spotlight of national politics but also cast light on the erosion of regionalism in Italy. Continue reading >>
0
14 Oktober 2019

Es hat viel gedonnert, aber kaum geregnet

Mit dem Beschluss der Abgeordnetenkammer vom 8. Oktober 2019 hat das italienische Parlament entschieden, sich selbst um ein gutes Drittel der Sitze zu verkleinern. Aus 945 Parlamentariern sollen künftig 600 werden. Obwohl die von der Fünf-Sterne-Bewegung angestrebte Reform in der italienischen Verfassungsdebatte nicht neu ist, beschränkt sie sich auf eine rechnerische Verkleinerung, ohne Rolle und Kompetenzen der Volksvertretung in der Gegenwart ernsthaft zu hinterfragen. Continue reading >>
0
26 September 2019

“Constitutional Paternalism” and the Inability to Legislate

On 25 September 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has made clear that assisted suicide is not punishable under specific conditions. The judgment came one year after the ICC had ordered the Italian Parliament to legislate on the matter – which it did not do. The entire story is indicative of the inability of Parliaments to respond to social demands as well as the current trend of high courts to act as shepherds of parliaments rather than as guardians of the constitution. Continue reading >>
22 September 2019

Italia Viva, Party System Reform Morta

Until a decade ago or even less, Italian politics appeared a matter of its own political idiosyncrasies and was dismissed as a peculiar case which is cause more for an amused smile but serious political analysis. This is not the case anymore. The sad truth is that parliamentary regimes based on a functioning majority in Parliament do not seem to be able to deliver sufficiently stable and effective governments these days. Continue reading >>
0
15 August 2019

Resentment, Populism and Political Strategies in Italy

After Matteo Salvini announced his plan of holding snap elections, the former Italian prime minister (Presidente del Consiglio), Matteo Renzi launched the idea to postpone elections by forming a transistional government supported by the Partito democratico and the MoVimento 5 stelle, amongst others. Renzi knows that, according to the polls, Salvini’s political party (the Lega) could win the elections and form a government with Fratelli d’Italia, a post-fascist and still far-right party or with Forza Italia, the party created by Silvio Berlusconi. But would this move prevent a populist government? Continue reading >>
12 Juli 2019

Pre-Modern Understandings of Rule-Making

Since his entering into office a year ago, Italy’s Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini has proved to be the true leader of the governmental coalition between the Five Star Movement and the Lega, run by Salvini himself. His populist approach looks far closer to that of Orbán than to the confused ideology of the Five Star Movement. Contrary to the latter, Salvini always gives the impression of knowing exactly what he wants. Being far more predictable than his allies, he has succeeded both in seizing control of Italy’s political agenda and in gaining a huge electoral consent, not least because he knows how to fuel the popular anxiety. Continue reading >>
0
02 Juli 2019

Ende einer Irrfahrt

Die deutsche Kapitänin des Rettungsschiffes „SeaWatch 3“, Carola Rackete, wird beschuldigt, sich durch die unerlaubte Einfahrt in italienische Küstengewässer, durch die Nichtbeachtung des Anlegeverbots im Hafen von Lampedusa und durch das Rammen eines „Kriegsschiffs“ bei der Einfahrt in den Hafen strafbar gemacht zu haben. Ihr drohen Freiheitsstrafen bis zu zehn Jahren. Nach italienischem Straf- und Verfassungsrecht sind die Vorwürfe indessen haltlos. Continue reading >>
30 Juni 2019

Verbrechen der Menschlichkeit?

Carola Rackete, Kapitänin der Sea-Watch, droht ein Strafverfahren in Italien. Bei diesem Verfahren steht nicht nur für das italienische, sondern für das gesamte europäische Recht viel auf dem Spiel. Wenn ein weithin als moralisch richtig oder gar geboten angesehenes Verhalten sich als strafbar erweist, dann gefährdet das die Akzeptanz und Autorität von Recht. Continue reading >>
21 Juni 2019
, ,

Mini-BOTs, complementary currencies and the European monetary malaise

On May 28th, the Italian Chamber of Deputies approved a resolution requiring the government to issue the so-called mini-BOTs. Under such a name, reference is made to Treasury bills issued in small denominations (in Euros), bearing no interest, with no expiry date, and which the Italian Exchequer would accept as a means of payment of taxes. The proposal has been predictably met with marked skepticism by European institutions and by the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance. However, the wisest move, in prudential, political and economic terms, would be that European institutions would embrace experimentation with complementary currencies, in genuine federal spirit. Continue reading >>
0
27 Februar 2019
,

Not to be Pushed Aside: the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice

A few days ago, with the decision no 20/2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has set a new cornerstone in its relationship with EU law and, in particular, with the judicial treatment of issues covered by both national fundamental rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In so doing, the Consulta shows the intention to act as a pivotal institution in the field of judicial protection of fundamental rights. Continue reading >>
0
29 Januar 2019
,

Citizenship Revocation in Italy as a Counter-Terrorism Measure

A 2018 Italian Decree Law allows the revocation of citizenship based on a decision of the Minister of the Interior when a person has been convicted for terrorist offences. However, this provision specifically addresses immigrants and their children who became Italian citizens. Continue reading >>
11 Januar 2019

Rationalising political representation within the European Parliament: the Italian Constitutional Court rules on the threshold for the European elections

In December 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court found the national 4% threshold for elections to the European Parliament to be constitutional. Unlike the Bundesverfassungsgericht, which focused in-depth on the European state of affairs at a given stage, the Corte costituzionale has pointed to a gradual evolutionary development towards “a rationalisation of the representation of political forces within the European parliamentary assembly”. According to this interpretation, both the national parliaments and the European Parliament face similar challenges. Continue reading >>
02 November 2018

Playing the chicken game: The conflict over Italy’s draft budget reveals a construction flaw in the EMU

The next period of nightlong European summits and standoffs between the European institutions and one of its member states is looming: Italy and the EU are at odds about its new budget proposal. This is a result of the setup of the Economic and Monetary Union, which will continue to produce such stalemates as long as dominant countries make common rules for their own sake and others try to circumvent them. Continue reading >>
27 Oktober 2018

The Italian Budget Drama – Brussels and Rome on Collision Course

The EU Commission has, for the first time, rejected a budget plan of a member state. While the Italian government drums its chest and the markets get increasingly nervous, the situation remains deadly serious. It is moreover deeply symptomatic of the potential, limits and fundamental shortcomings of the current architecture of Eurozone fiscal governance. Continue reading >>
18 Juni 2018

The Italian President and the Security of the European Project

In a previous post, I have argued that the recent decision of the Italian President Mattarella to refuse to appoint as Finance Minister Paolo Savona, was constitutional. Many have argued either in favour or against Mattarella’s decision, either from legal or political perspective, or both. My argument is as follows: (a) the decision to refuse Savona’s appointment is not only legal, but also legitimate, as confirmed by the legal-historical context, in which the Italian form of government has developed; (b) the reasons behind Mattarella’s decision are deeply linked with the “security of the European project”, a rationale which has been a constant feature of European integration. Yet conflicts and contradictions have been concealed for too long and should be addressed more directly. Continue reading >>
0
11 Juni 2018

Refugees in Orbit – again!

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new far-right home secretary, tweeted “Vittoria!” after news broke that the 629 persons stranded aboard the M.S. Aquarius would be forced to proceed to the Spanish city of Valencia rather than being allowed to disembark at much closer ports in Sicily. But for whom was it a “victory”? Continue reading >>
07 Juni 2018

A Crisis Made in Italy

The recent crisis surrounding the Italian President’s refusal to appoint a Finance Minister considered likely to pursue an agenda of ‘Italexit’ has sparked a great deal of constitutional commentary. Two particular threads of opinion are identified here and some doubts cast about them. On the one hand, there are those who consider legitimate the President’s discretionary use of power, partly in light of the pressure that would be brought to bear by the financial markets should Italy opt for exiting the single currency. On the other hand, there are those who doubt its wisdom, and offer a broader indictment of the pressure brought to bear on the Italian government as a result of being in an overly rigid Eurozone. This gets closer to diagnosing the condition, but in its ambiguity about the pressure point, fails to underscore that this is essentially a crisis made in Italy, and, if at all, to be resolved there, including a full and frank debate about membership of the single currency and even the European Union. Continue reading >>
05 Juni 2018
,

Two Courts, two Languages? The Taricco Saga Ends on a Worrying Note

The epic story of the confrontation between the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that has become known under name Taricco has come to an end at last – somewhat different than expected, but nevertheless. On May 31 the ICC has handed down its final judgment. The hatchet between the Courts is buried. But the way it was done by the ICC is by no means conciliatory. Continue reading >>
0
31 Mai 2018
,

The “Savona Affaire”: Over­constitutionali­zation in Action?

As is well known, Italy is undergoing an institutional crisis sparked by President Mattarella’s veto on the composition of the prospective Italian government. Following Dieter Grimm, we claim that the events here analysed reveal the extent to which the EU legal framework is overconstitutionalised and the democratic costs and risks inherent in this legal and political order. Continue reading >>
28 Mai 2018
,

Why the Italian President’s Decision was Legitimate

The new Italian government is unlikely to find a majority in Parliament; it will probably be a short-term, neutral caretaker, until the new elections, which may take place as soon as next autumn. The impeachment procedure against the President – should it start at all – will end in nothing, although it might stir the electoral propaganda. Continue reading >>

The People vs. the Elite: Italian Dialectics and the European Malaise

Has the Italian President power of veto over the choice of the ministers of the government? Some argue that the Constitution does not allow Mattarella to go against the indications of the winning parties and should respect the will of the majority of the electorate, and should abstain from interfering with the political choices of the future Prime Minister. These considerations are not correct and follow from a superficial reading of the Constitution. Continue reading >>
08 Mai 2018

State Secrecy in Counterterrorism: Different Judicial Standards of Review – The Abu Omar Case before Italian Courts

State secrecy provides an interesting viewpoint on national and supranational […] Continue reading >>
0
14 März 2018

Constitutional Rights First: The Italian Constitutional Court fine-tunes its „Europarechts­freundlichkeit“

Only a few days after the Court of Justice of the European Union buried the hatchet in the so-called Taricco saga, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision that may inaugurate the most significant shift of its jurisprudence in European affairs since 1984, when the Constitutional Court fully accepted the principle of primacy of EU law and blessed the disapplication of national legislation incompatible with EU law. Continue reading >>
26 Dezember 2017

Doppelpass in Südtirol?

In ihrem Regierungsabkommen nehmen die ÖVP und die FPÖ in Aussicht, „den Angehörigen der Volksgruppen deutscher und ladinischer Muttersprache in Südtirol (...) die Möglichkeit einzuräumen, zusätzlich zur italienischen Staatsbürgerschaft die österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft zu erwerben”. Es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass es je zum Doppelpass kommen wird. Zu zahlreich, zu verzwickt sind die rechtlichen Schwierigkeiten. Dabei ist Italiens eigene Staatsbürgerschaft-Politik selbst alles andere als fehlerfrei. Continue reading >>
07 Dezember 2017

Belittling the Primacy of EU Law in Taricco II

The Taricco II judgement handed down by the CJEU on 5 December 2017 is a telling and worrying example of a weakly reasoned court decision and the high price at which such weakness comes. It is a judgement that disregards legally problematic questions, seemingly subordinating argumentative consistency to the constraints of legal policy in a climate increasingly critical towards EU law and institutions. The (potential) collateral damage of this approach is considerable. Continue reading >>
05 Dezember 2017
,

Defusing the Taricco Bomb through Fostering Constitutional Tolerance: All Roads Lead to Rome

As Mauro Cappelletti perceptively wrote in 1986, ‘unlike the American Supreme Court and the European Constitutional Courts, the Court of Justice has almost no powers that are not ultimately derived from its own prestige, intellectual and moral force of its opinions’. In other terms, the Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) cannot take obedience to its judgments by Member States and the respective authorities as granted or constitutionally-mandated since, in Weiler’s words, this is a voluntary obedience which goes hand in hand with the exercise of constitutional tolerance in the Member States. In other words, there is a time for the enforcement of the radical primacy of EU law as in Melloni and Taricco I, and a time for internalizing the counterlimits, as in the Taricco II decision (M.A.S. and M.B. case) handed down today by the ECJ. Continue reading >>
0
21 Oktober 2017
,

Playing the Referendum Game in Northern Italy

Three weeks after Catalonia, two of Italy’s wealthiest regions are going to the polls over similar issues related to autonomy. On Sunday, the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto will vote on a one-question query on whether to demand greater autonomy from Rome. Despite their apparent simplicity, both questions are formulated in such a way as to be misleading. Few months before the national election, the referendum may be considered as a test for Northern League, or even a rehearsal in view of a political campaign based on the promise of a greater return on taxes. Continue reading >>
28 September 2017

Bewunderung ohne Liebe und die Kunst des Übertreibens: die italienischen Reaktionen auf die deutsche Bundestagswahl

Dramatisierung, Angst vor neuen Härten für Italien und Abneigung gegen große Koalitionen - so lassen sich die italienischen Reaktionen auf die Bundestagswahlen im geschätzten, aber nicht geliebten Nachbarland im Norden zusammenfassen. Continue reading >>
0
07 September 2017

The EU as the Appropriate Locus of Power for Tackling Crises: Interpretation of Article 78(3) TFEU in the case Slovakia and Hungary v Council

The CJEU’s judgment in Slovakia and Hungary v Council of 6 September 2017 raises important instutional questions. As the Court implicitly recognises the EU as the appropriate forum for taking effective action to address the emergency situation created by a sudden inflow of third country nationals, it adopts its tendency towards purposive and effectiveness-oriented jurisprudence to asylum law. Continue reading >>
02 August 2017
,

The Opinion of Advocate General Bot in Taricco II: Seven “Deadly” Sins and a Modest Proposal

The wind of populism is blowing across Europe and courts (including constitutional and supreme courts) are not immune therefrom. Within this context, the enforcement of the constitutional identity clause to contrast the application and, sometimes, the primacy of EU law would be a powder keg waiting to be lit. In the latest act in the Taricco saga, Advocate General Bot in his opinion in Taricco II does nothing to defuse it – on the contrary. Continue reading >>
22 Juni 2017

Das italienische Wahlrecht nach deutscher Art reformieren – oder nicht?

Das deutsche Wahlsystem soll Vorbild sein für die Reform des Wahlrechts in Italien. Was hat es mit diesem Vorbildcharakter auf sich, und wie passt das deutsche personalisierte Verhältniswahlrecht zu den Vorgaben der italienischen Verfassung? Continue reading >>
18 Mai 2017

No Consensus – but Hope at Villa Vigoni

The Colloquium on the judgment of the Italian Constitutional Court […] Continue reading >>
15 Mai 2017

Suggesting Solutions: Do the Right Thing

This short presentation distils the conclusions of the panel regarding […] Continue reading >>
0

Suggesting Solutions: A European Way?

The conveners asked the third panel of the conference to […] Continue reading >>
0

Suggesting Solutions: What about Concessions to be Made by Both Sides?

In the following I will briefly give you an overview […] Continue reading >>
0

Suggesting Solutions: Providing Compensation to the Victims as a Moral and Legal Duty

The first panel dealt intensively with the question as to […] Continue reading >>
0
12 Mai 2017

A clever and dangerous move – or: a Roman Court goes Lutheran

2 ½ years after it was rendered, Sentenza 238/14 of […] Continue reading >>
0

After Sentenza 238: A Plea for Legal Peace

1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS This post summarizes some of the key […] Continue reading >>
0

Judgment 238/2014 and the importance of a constructive dialogue

I will focus here on two facets of Judgment 238/2014 […] Continue reading >>
0
11 Mai 2017

Italian Concerns after Sentenza 238/2014

Judicial practice may be a means to overcome the opposition […] Continue reading >>
0

Italian concerns after sentenza 238/2014: possible reactions, possible solutions

Introduction 1. International legal thinking has long been dominated by […] Continue reading >>
0

German concerns after Sentenza 238/2014: Possible reactions – possible solutions

Jurisdictional Immunities, or: A Formally Strong German Position On the […] Continue reading >>
,

Introduction: In search for conciliation

Sentenza 238/2014 of the Italian Constitutional Court created a legal […] Continue reading >>
0
21 April 2017

How Could the ECJ Escape from the Taricco Quagmire?

The Taricco saga shows how difficult has become the coexistence between the doctrines that have been developed so far by the ECJ on one side and the national Constitutional or Supreme Courts on the other side. The ECJ and the Constitutional Courts, in all their isolated splendour (or splendid isolation), preferred so far to follow parallel lines, whose meeting could only take place ad infinitum. However, if the parallelism collapses, the two lines are doomed to crash. Continue reading >>
0
31 Januar 2017

The Italian Constitutional Court in re Taricco: “Gauweiler in the Roman Campagna”

The Italian Constitutional Court’s Tarrico judgement is worded in apparently much milder terms than the BVerfG’s preliminary reference in Gauweiler. The content of the ICC’s decision, though, seems loaded with much more dynamite. In Gauweiler, the CJEU was called to interpret an act of another EU institution. In Taricco, the CJEU is called to reinterpret its own decision, after the ICC essentially asked “please, say it again?” Continue reading >>
0
30 Januar 2017

Stable Majorities in Italy: an Interview with FRANCESCO CLEMENTI

Last week, the Italian Constitutional Court has declared the electoral law reform constitutional in most respects. Francesco Clementi explains why it will still be extremely difficult to form stable majorities in both chambers of Parliament. Continue reading >>
0
28 Januar 2017
,

The Taricco Decision: A Last Attempt to Avoid a Clash between EU Law and the Italian Constitution

Is Italy obliged by EU law to pursue criminal acts longer than provided by Italian law? This question might cause a fundamental clash between the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice. Unlike the CJEU, the Italian Constitutional Court interprets a retroactive suspension of the limitation period as a matter of principle of legality, and thereby as a matter of a core principle of Italian constitutional law. By referring the case to the CJEU, the Italian Constitutional Court gives the European Court a chance to revisit its jurisdiction while avoiding the identity language of the German Constitutional Court - good news for cooperative constitutionalism in Europe. Continue reading >>
15 Dezember 2016
,

Nothing left to do but vote – The (almost) untold story of the Italian constitutional reform and the aftermath of the referendum

A cloud of uncertainty hovers over the future of Italian politics after the failure of the constitutional referendum. The degree of uncertainty is increased by the pending proceeding before the Constitutional Court where the electoral law adopted in 2015 (Italicum) has been challenged as unconstitutional. Continue reading >>
0
09 Dezember 2016

After the Italian Referendum

So much was at stake for Italy, its political class and its economy, and for the European Union (EU) and its member states in the country’s failed referendum on constitutional reform. In the EU, Germany is a particularly sensitive case. The relations between Germany and Italy are a focal point in Europe. They used to be in an asymmetric, albeit comforting, equilibrium. Continue reading >>
02 Dezember 2016
,

Italy before the Constitutional Referendum: „I do not see any Armageddon Scenario“

On Sunday, Italy will vote on the largest constitutional reform in recent history. Francesco Clementi, constitutional lawyer from the University of Perugia and one of the staunchest supporters of the reform, answers our questions about what will happen in case of a NO or a YES victory. Continue reading >>
0
18 November 2016

Stabilität als Fluchtpunkt der italienischen Verfassungsreform – auf welchem Weg und um welchem Preis?

Die Wahlkarten sind versandt, die Fernsehanstalten haben Für und Wider in Dutzenden Debatten abgewogen, die staatliche Fluggesellschaft offeriert vergünstigte Tickets für die Anreise – alles scheint gerichtet für das Verfassungsreferendum in Italien am 4. Dezember dieses Jahres. Ministerratspräsident Matteo Renzi verspricht nicht weniger als den Wandel zum „stabilsten Land Europas.“ Wird das gelingen? Und wenn ja, um welchen Preis? Continue reading >>
15 November 2016
,

Die ‚Anderen‘ an den Tisch holen: Ein Vorschlag für ein inklusiveres Südtirol

Südtirol, eine autonome und vorwiegend deutschsprachige Provinz in Norditalien, gilt als eines der erfolgreichsten Beispiele der Konkordanzdemokratie – ein politisches System der Machtteilung, in dem die Bevölkerung aus ethnischen, sprachlichen oder anderen Gründen gespalten ist. Eines der Rechte, das deutschsprachige, italienischsprachige und ladinischsprachige Einwohner der Provinz genießen, ist ihre proportionale Repräsentation in Regierungen auf Provinz- und Gemeindeebene. Es ist an der Zeit, auch ‚anders Erklärende‘ zu berücksichtigen, also jene, die sich keiner Sprachgruppe angehörig fühlen, bzw. sich nur einer der drei offiziellen Sprachgruppen zuordnen. Dieser Schritt würde den Wandel von einem ‚corporate model‘ der Konkordanzdemokratie hin zu einem liberaleren Modell in der Provinz unterstützen. Continue reading >>
11 August 2016

Italian Constitutional Referendum: Voting for Structural Reform or Constitutional Transformation?

As the distance between political elites and the population in Europe increases, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's plans of constitutional reform further impoverish political representation in Italy – both with respect to input and output of the process. That is why the opponents of the reform are gaining ever more traction among Italian voters and could in the end prevail. Continue reading >>
0
27 Juli 2016

“Vote Yes for a Safe Italy” or “Vote No to Defend the Constitution”: Italian Constitutional Politics between Majoritarianism and Civil Resistance

In the run-up to the constitutional referendum in October, the Italian government meets considerable resistance towards its plans for a comprehensive reform of the Constitution of 1948. Both Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Constitutional Reform Minister Maria Elena Boschi regularly sustain that in case of a ‘No’ vote, chaos will rule. Public debate seems trapped in a Manichean game between yes-proponents that accuse the opposition of conservatism, and no-proponents that accuse the government of authoritarian leanings. Continue reading >>
0
02 April 2016

Freedom of Religion vs Islamophobia: Lombardy’s “Anti-Mosque Law” is Unconstitutional

While islamophobia is on the rise after the carnages of Paris and Bruxelles, recent developments in Italy may foster the confidence in the freedom of religion of European Muslims. In a ground-breaking decision, the Italian Constitutional Court has nullified a regional “anti-mosques law” enacted by the Lombardy Region one year ago, discriminating the Muslim community of this rich and populated area of Northern Italy. Continue reading >>
13 Oktober 2015

Verfassungsreform in Italien: der entscheidende Schritt

Italien erlebt gerade den umfangreichsten und ambitioniertesten Prozess zur Reform seiner Verfassung seit Beginn der Republik. Die Regierung beabsichtigt, das schwerfällige, träge und ineffiziente Gesetzgebungssystem fundamental zu reformieren. Der Senat wird zu einer Kammer der Regionen mit sehr schwachen gesetzgeberischen Kompetenzen umfunktioniert. Das kurzfristige Ziel scheint aber im Moment eher zu sein, ein Zeichen der Reformbereitschaft zu setzen, als dem Land eine gut durchdachte und funktionierende neue Verfassung zu schenken. Continue reading >>
01 September 2015

Straßburg zu Lampedusa: Menschenwürde muss krisenfest sein

Das Urteil kommt zur rechten Zeit: Flüchtlinge haben ein Recht auf Achtung ihrer Menschenwürde, auch wenn sehr viele in sehr kurzer Zeit ankommen und das Ankunftsland darauf sehr schlecht vorbereitet ist. Das ist die Quintessenz des heutigen Lampedusa-Urteils des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte. Die "Krisen-" und "Notstands"-Argumente, mit denen der Aufnahmestaat sich verteidigt, mögen noch so berechtigt sein – gegen die Menschenwürde richten sie nichts aus. Continue reading >>
21 April 2015

“Italian-style” secession and the semi-indifference of national politics

On April 28th, the Italian Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing on the constitutionality of the planned independence referendum in the northern Italian region of Veneto. Unlike its Scottish and Catalan counterparts, the Veneto secession case has been largely ignored on the national political level in Italy. From a legal point of view, the unconstitutionality of an independence referendum seems hard to deny. But politically, nevertheless, treating regional separatism as a taboo could endanger the very thing it seeks to protect, the one and indivisible Republic of Italy. Continue reading >>
0
24 Februar 2015

The “Anti-Mosques” Law of Lombardy and Religious Freedom in Italy

Lombardy, Italy’s most populous region, has just enacted a law that seems to be designed to make life for Muslims as hard as possible. On January 27th, the Council of the Lombardy Region has enacted amendments to the Regional Law that regulates the planning of buildings and other structures for religious purposes. These amendments make it extremely cumbersome to build new places of worship for all non-established religious denominations, particularly Muslims – while the still dominant Catholic Church remains exempted from the regulation. Discrimination is not the only aspect of the new law that makes its constitutionality look more than questionable. Continue reading >>
0
28 Januar 2015

A Fresh Start: How to Resolve the Conflict between the ICJ and the Italian Constitutional Court

Three months ago the Italian Constitutional Court decided that it would infringe the fundamental rights of Italians to follow the International Court of Justice and uphold state immunity as a barrier for individual claims of war crime victims (decision no. 238 of 2014). First commentators have pointed out the conflict between the two courts and the regime collision between international and domestic law. Germany’s possible reaction to the Italian breach of international law has also been taken into consideration. Finally, the possible role of the Italian Constitutional Court’s reasoning in the further development of international law with regard to state immunity in cases of serious human rights violations, which amount to the breach of a jus cogens rule, has been the focus of some contributions. I would suggest making a fresh start in this debate. What we need right now are procedural mechanisms to harmonize for the future, as far as possible, the claim of sovereign immunity and access to the courts, in case a state happens to be in a better position to settle the dispute at the international level in the interests of the victims. Continue reading >>
27 Januar 2015

Liberalisierung der Leihmutterschaft: Straßburg legt nach

Staaten, die Leihmutterschaft bekämpfen und verbieten wollen, dürfen das tun – aber sie dürfen diesen Kampf nicht auf dem Rücken des Kindes austragen. Im letzten Sommer hat der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte entschieden, dass die Staaten vor lauter Empörung nicht so tun dürfen, als habe ein von einer Leihmutter ausgetragenes Kind nicht einmal einen biologischen Vater mehr. Und erst im Dezember hat der Bundesgerichtshof daraus für Deutschland die Konsequenzen gezogen. Heute hat der Straßburger Gerichtshof eine Kammerentscheidung veröffentlicht, die zeigt, wie weit der Gerichtshof diese Linie zu treiben bereit ist. Continue reading >>
29 Dezember 2014
,

“We had something in mind, which then changed and became something different” – interview with Oreste Pollicino, co-founder of Diritti Comparati

You founded Diritti Comparati in 2010. What motivated you to […] Continue reading >>
0
23 Dezember 2014

Let Not Triepel Triumph – How To Make the Best Out of Sentenza No. 238 of the Italian Constitutional Court for a Global Legal Order

The Italian Constiutional Court’s decision no. 238 of 22 Oct. 2014 (unofficial […] Continue reading >>
0
15 Dezember 2014

Damage-assessment on the building of international law after the Italian Constitutional Court’s decision no. 238 of 2014: no structural damage, just wear and tear.

This symposium invites reflections on the intercourse between national courts […] Continue reading >>
11 Dezember 2014

No custom restricting state immunity for grave breaches ‒ well why not?

In a recent judgement (discussed here and here), the Italian […] Continue reading >>
03 November 2014

The Italian reform of bicameralism: is the time ripe?

Italy's unique "perfect bicameralism" has often been criticized for its inefficiency. The latest attempt to reform it, brought forward by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, is still debated in parliament. The destiny of the Italian bicameralism and the resolution of the Italian oxymoron lies on the thin line of the agreement between the main political forces, which seems quite frail and uncertain at the moment. Continue reading >>
0
27 Oktober 2014

I know it’s wrong but I just can’t do right: First impressions on judgment no. 238 of 2014 of the Italian Constitutional Court

On 22 October 2014, the Italian Constitutional Court (CC) delivered its judgment on state immunity and tort claims by Italian citizens against Germany. This ruling reignited the fire of Ferrini (a 2004 judgment of the Italian Supreme Court), which kept burning under the ashes, after the intervention of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had seemingly put it off for good. It is only possible to appreciate the import of the CC’s judgment in perspective, as the last (or latest) act of a legal melodrama that would be entertainingly captivating if it were not real. Continue reading >>
25 Oktober 2014

Italien im Dilemma zwischen Verfassungs- und Völkerrechtstreue

Das italienische Gesetz zur Vollstreckung der UN-Charta ist verfassungswidrig, soweit es gemäß Artikel 94 der UN-Charta Italien verpflichtet, das Urteil des Internationalen Gerichtshofs von 2012 zur Staatenimmunität zu befolgen. Außerdem ist die vom IGH im konkreten Fall festgestellte völkerrechtliche Gewohnheitsrechtsnorm zur Staatenimmunität nicht Teil der italienischen Rechtsordnung: Stefan Raffeiner zur Entscheidung des italienischen Verfassungsgerichtshofs. Continue reading >>
06 Juli 2014

Verfassungsreform in Italien: Der Trend geht zur kompetenzarmen Zweitkammer

Italien wird seinen Senat radikal zurückstutzen. Es ist nicht das einzige Land in Europa, das seine zweite Kammer reformiert. Continue reading >>
20 Juni 2014

Geschlechtsumwandlung und Zwangsscheidung: zwei bahnbrechende Klärungen des italienischen Verfassungsgerichtshofes

Die Ehe bleibt gleichgeschlechtlichen Partnern in Italien verwehrt. In seinem jüngsten, bahnbrechenden Urteil zur Zwangsscheidung nach Geschlechtsumwandlung fordert der italienische Verfassungsgerichtshof aber vom Gesetzgeber, ihnen endlich eine eingetragene Lebensgemeinschaft zu ermöglichen. Continue reading >>
14 März 2014

Das neue italienische Wahlrecht: immer noch verfassungsrechtlich fragwürdig?

Silvio Berlusconis "porcellum" genanntes Wahlgesetz hat der italienische Verfassungsgerichtshof für verfassungswidrig erklärt. Der neue italienische Ministerpräsident Matteo Renzi hat im Bund mit Berlusconi ein neues Gesetz vorgelegt, das die Verfassungsprobleme aber nur unzureichend löst und sogar noch neue schafft. In January, Silvio Berlusconi's electoral law "porcellum" had been declared unconstitutional by the Italian Constitutional Court. The new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is now, along with Berlusconi, trying to push a new law through parliament that fails to solve the problems adressed by the Constitutional Court and introduces even new ones. Continue reading >>
0
06 März 2014

EGMR zur FIAT-Affäre: Ein Bußgeld ist Strafe genug

Sie nannten ihn l'avvocato, den Anwalt: Giovanni Agnelli, der legendäre FIAT-Chef und verhinderte Jurist, hätte sich vielleicht über den Sieg gefreut, den seine früheren Geschäftsfreunde vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) errungen haben. Weil sie von der Börsenaufsicht bereits mit einem Bußgeld wegen Marktmanipulation belegt wurden, darf gegen sie in der selben Sache kein weiteres Strafverfahren angestrengt werden, urteilte eine EGMR-Kammer in einer gestern veröffentlichten Entscheidung. Continue reading >>
0
15 Januar 2014

Wahlrechtsurteil: Italiens Verfassungsgerichtshof ersetzt die Politik

Anfang Dezember wurde bekannt, dass Italiens Verfassungsgerichtshof Silvio Berlusconis berüchtigtes Wahlgesetz für verfassungswidrig erklären würde. Jetzt liegen die Urteilsgründe vor - und die greifen tief in das Verfassungsgefüge der Republik ein: So installiert der Gerichtshof in dem Verfahren erstmals eine Art individuellen Rechtsschutz gegen verfassungswidrige Gesetze. Francesco Palermo, Verfassungsrechtsprofessor und Südtiroler Mitglied im italienischen Senat, erläutert Folgen und Hintergründe des Urteils. Continue reading >>
0
01 Oktober 2013
,

Kein Vollstreckungsschutz für insolvente Kommunen

Der EGMR in Straßburg hat letzte Woche eine Entscheidung veröffentlicht, […] Continue reading >>
0
26 August 2013

Wie eine aussichtslose Verfassungsklage Berlusconi die Karriere retten könnte

Silvio Berlusconi will trotz seiner Verurteilung im Senat bleiben und droht die Regierungskoalition zu sprengen. Geht das rechtlich überhaupt? Francesco Palermo, Senator aus Südtirol und Verfassungsrechtsprofessor aus Verona, erklärt im Interview, wie die Verfassungs- und Gesetzeslage aussieht und welche politischen Optionen daraus folgen. Continue reading >>
0
21 Juni 2013

Italian Constitutional Court says Berlusconi had to be loyal

The Constitutional Court remains true to itself providing, once again, […] Continue reading >>
0
21 Mai 2013

Italian institutions between crisis and reform

The political turmoil in Italy during the last months hasn’t […] Continue reading >>
0
16 April 2013

Wenn nicht mit euch, dann halt ohne euch

27 Mitgliesstaaten hat die EU (ab Juli 28), und überall […] Continue reading >>
01 Dezember 2012
,

All you need is law: Same-sex marriage in Italian courts

The Italian Corte di Cassazione (CdC) has delivered a judgment […] Continue reading >>
0
22 Juni 2012

Die EU spricht auch Italienisch – aber nur im Prinzip

Die EU hat im Regelfall, soweit irgendwie möglich, in sämtlichen […] Continue reading >>
22 Mai 2012

Wahlrecht für Gefangene: EGMR will die Wogen glätten

Der EGMR liegt, wie hier und anderenorts schon ad nauseam […] Continue reading >>
26 April 2012

EuGH nimmt sich der Rechte von Drittstaats-Ausländern an

Unser famoser Innenminister findet es gemeinsam mit seinem französischen Kollegen […] Continue reading >>
04 Februar 2012

Constitutional paths not taken: Germany vs. Italy before the ICJ

by CHRISTIAN DJEFFAL On 3 February 2012 the International Court […] Continue reading >>
11 Januar 2012

Vom Menschenrecht, nicht inmitten von Müllbergen zu leben

Wir erinnern uns alle noch an die Berge stinkenden und […] Continue reading >>
07 September 2011

Politessenbeschimpfung ist auch für Abgeordnete strafbar

Es tut mir ja leid, aber immer, wenn in diesem […] Continue reading >>
30 August 2011

Ein Filetstückchen von einem Fürstentum

Italien hat die Opera Buffa hervorgebracht, und deshalb ist es […] Continue reading >>
18 März 2011

EGMR: Frei von laizistischem Eifer

Ein Kruzifix im Klassenzimmer ist kein Menschenrechtsverstoß. Dies hat die […] Continue reading >>
15 April 2010

Italien: Homo-Ehe bleibt verboten

Der italienische Oberste Gerichtshof will das Homo-Ehe-Verbot nicht für verfassungswidrig […] Continue reading >>
04 März 2010

EuGH: Mafia ist keine höhere Gewalt

Das Müll-Desaster vom Neapel hat ein europäisches Nachspiel für Italien: […] Continue reading >>
11 Februar 2010

Italien: Wo der Spaß aufhört

Eins muss man Silvio Berlusconi lassen: Der Mann hat Humor. […] Continue reading >>
01 Februar 2010

Kruzifix-Urteil: Italien legt Rechtsmittel ein

Gegen das Kruzifix-Urteil des EGMR hat Italien, wie bereits angekündigt, […] Continue reading >>
03 November 2009

EGMR: Kruzifix-Urteil reloaded

Bald eineinhalb Jahrzehnte ist es her, dass das BVerfG für […] Continue reading >>
Go to Top