Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2015

by Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 367 Pages
Series: Human Right Studies, Volume 6


The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2015 provides a dynamic and up-to-date overview of the measures Italy has taken to adapt its legislation and policies to international human rights law and to comply with commitments voluntarily assumed by the Italian Government at the international level.
The 2015 Yearbook surveys the activities of the relevant national and local Italian actors, including governmental bodies, civil society organisations and universities. It also presents reports and recommendations that have been addressed to Italy in 2014 by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. Finally, the Yearbook provides a selection of international and national case-law that casts light on Italy’s position vis-à-vis internationally recognised human rights.
«Italy and Human Rights in 2014: the Challenge of National/International Constitutional Synergism» is the focus of the introductory section of the Yearbook. The complex network of monitoring actions carried out by the supranational bodies, and the relative reporting requirements Italy must meet, can only be viewed in the context of reciprocal exchange and strengthening between the provisions enshrined in the national Constitution and international human rights law.
The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2015 represents an updated orientation tool intended to support the commitment taken by the Italian Government in the framework of the second Universal Periodic Review (October 2014) before the UN Human Rights Council.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Acronyms
  • Italy and Human Rights in 2014: the Challenge of National/International Constitutional Synergism
  • I. New Legislation and Infrastructure
  • II. Implementation of International Obligations and Commitments: Moving between Conforming and the “Counter-limits” Theory
  • III. Adoption and Implementation of Policies
  • IV. Structure of the 2015 Yearbook
  • Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2015
  • Part I. Implementation of International Human Rights Law In Italy
  • International Human Rights Law
  • I. Legal Instruments of the United Nations
  • II. Legal Instruments on Disarmament and Non-proliferation
  • III. Legal Instruments of the Council of Europe
  • IV. European Union Law
  • Italian Law
  • I. The Constitution of the Italian Republic
  • II. National Legislation
  • III. Municipal, Provincial and Regional Statutes
  • IV. Regional Laws
  • Part II. The Human Rights Infrastructure in Italy
  • National Bodies with Jurisdiction over Human Rights
  • I. Parliamentary Bodies
  • II. Prime Minister’s Office (Presidency)
  • III. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • IV. Ministry of Labour and Social Policies
  • V. Ministry of Justice
  • VI. Judicial Authorities
  • VII. Independent Authorities
  • VIII. Non-governmental Organisations
  • IX. Human Rights Teaching and Research in Italian Universities
  • Sub-national Human Rights Structures
  • I. Peace Human Rights Offices in Municipalities, Provinces and Regions
  • II. Ombudspersons in the Italian Regions and Provinces
  • III. National Coordinating Body of Ombudspersons
  • IV. Network of Ombudspersons for Children and Adolescents
  • V. National Coordinating Network of Ombudspersons for the Rights of Detainees
  • VI. National Coordinating Body of Local Authorities for Peace and Human Rights
  • VII. Archives and Other Regional Projects for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Human Rights
  • Region of Veneto
  • I. Regional Section for International Relations
  • II. Committee for Human Rights and the Culture of Peace
  • III. Committee for Development Cooperation
  • IV. Regional Archive «Pace Diritti Umani – Peace Human Rights»
  • V. Venice for Peace Research Foundation
  • VI. Ombudsperson for Children and Adolescents
  • VII. Ombudsperson for Detainees
  • VIII. Ombudsperson
  • IX. Regional Commission for Equal Opportunities between Men and Women
  • X. Regional Observatory on Social Policies
  • XI. Regional Observatory on Immigration
  • Part III. Italy in Dialogue with International Human Rights Institutions
  • The United Nations System
  • I. General Assembly
  • II. Human Rights Council
  • III. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • IV. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • V. Human Rights Treaty Bodies
  • VI. Specialised United Nations Agencies, Programmes and Funds
  • VII. International Organisations with Permanent Observer Status at the General Assembly
  • Council of Europe
  • I. Parliamentary Assembly
  • II. Committee of Ministers
  • III. European Court of Human Rights
  • IV. Committee for the Prevention of Torture
  • V. European Committee of Social Rights
  • VI. Commissioner for Human Rights
  • VII. European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
  • VIII. Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
  • IX. European Commission for Democracy through Law
  • X. Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
  • XI. Group of States against Corruption
  • European Union
  • I. European Parliament
  • II. European Commission
  • III. Council of the European Union
  • IV. Court of Justice of the European Union
  • V. European External Action Service
  • VI. Special Representative for Human Rights
  • VII. Fundamental Rights Agency
  • VIII. European Ombudsman
  • IX. European Data Protection Supervisor
  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • I. Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
  • II. High Commissioner on National Minorities
  • III. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
  • IV. Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings
  • Humanitarian and Criminal Law
  • I. Adapting to International Humanitarian and Criminal Law
  • II. The Italian Contribution to Peace-keeping and Other International Missions
  • Part IV. National and International Case-Law
  • Human Rights in Italian Case-law
  • I. Dignity of the Person and Principles of Biolaw
  • II. Political Rights and Electoral System
  • III. Asylum and International Protection
  • IV. Discrimination
  • V. Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • VI. Social Rights
  • VII. Laws Affecting Individual Rights with Retroactive Effect
  • VIII. Immigration
  • IX. Right to Privacy, Right to Property
  • X. Children’s Rights
  • XI. Due Process, Pinto Act, Ne Bis in Idem, Execution of ECtHR Judgments
  • XII. Torture, Prison Conditions, Prisoners’ Rights
  • XIII. Criminal Matters
  • Italy in the Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights
  • I. Prison Conditions, Torture, Collective Expulsion
  • II. Fair Trial, Excessive Length of Proceedings
  • III. Freedom of Movement, Right to Life
  • IV. Property Rights, “Indirect Expropriations”
  • V. Right to Private and Family Life
  • Italy in the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Series index

← 10 | 11 →List of Acronyms


Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas (Autorità garante della concorrenza e del mercato)


The Communications Regulatory Authority (Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni)


National Association of Italian Municipalities (Associazione Nazionale dei Comuni Italiani)


Constitutional law (Legge costituzionale)


Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers (Centro di accoglienza per richiedenti asilo)


Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment


Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women


Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union


Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union


Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights (Comitato interministeriale per i diritti umani)


Identification and Expulsion Centre (Centro di identificazione ed espulsione)


Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Council of Europe


International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance


European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment


Convention on the Rights of the Child


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union

← 11 | 12 →


Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri)


Decree of the President of the Republic (Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica)


European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


Court of Justice of the European Union


United Nations Economic and Social Council


European Commission against Racism and Intolerance


European Court of Human Rights


European Parliament


European Social Charter (revised)


European Union


Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations


Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union


General Assembly of the United Nations


International Criminal Court


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights


International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families


International Labour Organisation


International Organisation for Migration




Law-decree (decreto legge)


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual (and Intersex)


Legislative decree (decreto legislativo)


Ministry of Education, University and Research


North Atlantic Treaty Organisation


Non-governmental Organisation

← 12 | 13 →


Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE)


Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights


Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture


Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe


Provincial law


Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe


Regional Government deliberation


Regional law


Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (Sistema di protezione per richiedenti asilo e rifugiati)


Treaty on European Union


Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union


United Nations Human Settlements Programme


United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities


Office for the Promotion of Equal Treatment and the Fight against Racial Discrimination (Ufficio per la promozione della parità di trattamento e la rimozione delle discriminazioni fondate sulla razza e sull’origine etnica)


United Nations Development Programme


United Nations Environmental Programme


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation


United Nations High Commission for Refugees


United Nations Children’s Fund


Universal Periodic Review


World Health Organisation ← 13 | 14 →

← 14 | 15 →Italy and Human Rights in 2014: the Challenge of National/International Constitutional Synergism

Just as this edition of the Italian Yearbook of Human Rights, the fifth in the series, is going to press, a host of events are taking place to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Charta Libertatum Ecclesiae et Regni Angliae which, as is well known, was sealed by King John of England on June 15th 1215, on the water-meadow of Runnymede, near Windsor. The commemoration of this solemn act, conventionally considered the antecedent of modern legislations as far as human rights and fundamental freedoms are concerned, offers an opportunity to reflect on the intrinsic, substantially unilinear development force of a normative paradigm which touches on the supreme value of human dignity. Certain privileges and discriminations remain in the Magna Carta, and yet it contains the roots of Habeas Corpus, of the rule of law and of representative democracy; in other words, the beginning of a long road whose milestones are acts such as the Petition of Right, for example, and the Bill of Rights in the XVII Century in England, the Constitution of the United States of America and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in the XVIII Century.

From the second half of the XIX Century onwards, the first part of more and more national Constitutions is devoted to recognising human rights and fundamental freedoms. Universal ethical values are translated into norms and principles of ius positum within each State’s legislation, each separately from the other. Similarly to a karst process, these virtuous rivulets rise to the surface and merge, thanks to the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in their shared riverbed of a new International Law which sets the respect of human dignity and of the rights inherent to it, as the foundation for freedom, justice and world peace.

1945–1948 were the years of the “great new time in global history” that Giuseppe Dossetti defined a “burning and universal crucible”, a kind of fertile construction site for producing radically innovative norms in the mark of respect for human dignity. It was in this context of a broader, universalist approach that the Constitution of the Italian Republic took shape. The first part of it cannot be fully understood in its everlasting validity without taking into consideration how it relates, or more correctly, ← 15 | 16 →how it is anchored, to the new international law which took organic shape starting from the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration. Indeed, the content of national and international human rights law is substantially the same, and this welds them together. In the case of Italian legislation, this union is further strengthened, and constantly fuelled, by the original and innovative fact that thousands of municipal Statutes, and a number of regional ones, make specific reference, as concerns the values of human dignity and peace, to the norms and principles of international human rights law, together with those enshrined in the Italian Constitution. From this, one can deduce that the Constitution lives with dual, converging support coming both from above and from below.

It is from this perspective of reciprocal exchange and strengthening between the various levels of legislation that the complex network of monitoring actions and encouragement carried out by the supranational bodies which are part of the global and regional human rights systems, and the relative reporting requirements Italy must meet, should be considered. The dynamics of these exchanges have a substantial content of reciprocal learning and educating, to the benefit of both national and international good governance, within the “glocal” space of actionability which is proper to the fundamental rights of the person. The competent and organically continuous participation of national institutions in this practice of enacted legality affords a better understanding of what the actual implementation on the ground of norms such as, for example, articles 2, 3, 10 and 11 of the Italian Constitution involves. Faithfulness to the Constitution, besides being an obligation, is a virtue that is exercised synoptically, so to speak, holding the national Constitution in one hand and the Universal Declaration and the corpus of the many international legal instruments deriving from it in the other.

The main purpose of the Italian Yearbook of Human Rights is to offer a service to the Nation, to help develop within the Country an ever more organic and systematic vision of the instruments and procedures which touch on the most sensitive part of the Constitution: in short, a humble but heartfelt contribution to exercising the virtuous synopticity mentioned above.

The introductory pages of the Yearbook highlight certain “special focus” issues which the research and editorial committee consider particularly significant and urgent. One of these, which has recurred in every edition of the Yearbook, is the failure to establish a National Human Rights Commission in line with the Paris Principles recommended by the United Nations and the Council of Europe. What arcane reason is hidden behind this persistent refusal? Who is afraid of an independent body that is capable of monitoring and making proposals following the sapiential idea de lege semper perficienda (laws must perennially be perfected)?

← 16 | 17 →Less mystery surrounds the reason why “National action plans”, the logical consequence of international legislative acts regarding specific life conditions deserving of special protection are not implemented. One may reasonably suppose that, rather than being due to budget restrictions, it is above all a question of incompetence, lack of political sensitivity and bureaucratic sloth. This is the case, for example, of the Plan for implementing two fundamental international instruments concerning the right to education: the European Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (Council of Europe, 2010) and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training (2011). As well as being a soft law obligation, they are two excellent pedagogical and didactic aids for the genuine civic education which is so urgently needed; and they were designed in line with the principle of subsidiarity, the glocality of its scope and the synopticity of the reference legislative sources. It is hoped that civic education will finally be called by the name that is immanently proper to it: education for human rights, democracy and peace. It should be noted that quality education is measured, primarily, on the quality of the civic education imparted, inasmuch as it is the bearer of the universal reference values underlying any education and training plan.

National plans, together with the functioning of the relevant specialist institutions, contribute to ensuring the structural sustainability of Italy’s human rights system. An evaluation of this sustainability should be carried out every year in Parliament, in the course of a special session.

As concerns Italy’s contribution to the functioning of the international bodies working on human rights, from data examined relative to the timeframe considered by the Yearbook, it emerges that Italy’s overall financial contributions to these organisations have decreased. Considering the fundamental importance of their role in promoting and monitoring human rights, which is instrumental to developing a robust and consistent constitutional praxis at the national level, one cannot but denounce the ingratitude and short-sightedness of those who are responsible for grasping the opportunities for civic and democratic growth that still remain at their disposal.

The 2015 edition of the Yearbook falls in a year which has plenty of celebrations providing food for reflection: besides the 800th anniversary of the Magna Charta, the most significant are the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the birth of the United Nations. In Italy, these last two anniversaries are intertwined in their history and in their perspective. This intertwining has taken on the original shape of a widespread, capillary campaign for the international recognition of peace as a fundamental right of the person and of peoples. The previous edition ← 17 | 18 →of the Yearbook described the structure of this Italian campaign supporting the Human Rights Council’s initiative setting up an inter-governmental working group, which is debating a draft United Nations Declaration precisely on the right to peace, amid bitter disagreements and a priori rejections of the document. To date, over three hundred municipal Councils have approved a petitionary motion, almost always unanimously, calling for the inclusion of the right to peace in international legislation, starting from the recognition already operative in their respective Statutes. Further, motions similar to those of the local administrations have been approved by the Regional Councils of Veneto, Marche, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Apulia. A number of Mayors and Regional Governors have to our knowledge sent the text of their motions to the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in an exercise of “city diplomacy” to support the action of the Italian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. This is an implicit reference to the principle of subsidiarity, which is to be implemented in a multi-level governance structure and fully respecting the dignity of the human person and his or her inherent rights.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2015 (November)
Italien infrastructure 2014 Italian Perfomance UN human rights
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 367 pp., num. tables

Biographical notes

Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights (Volume editor)

The Yearbook is edited by the University Centre for Human Rights of the University of Padua, in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights, Democracy and Peace of the same University. The Centre, established in 1982 with the support of the Region of Veneto, carries out research and education following a global and interdisciplinary approach.


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