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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016


Edited By Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016 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 2016 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 2015 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 2015: Universal Ethics, Good Governance and Political Realism" is the focus of the introductory section of the Yearbook. Starting with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights law plunged onto the world stage with very specific principles and rules, which represent so many points that are essential not only for the legality but also for the sustainability of the political agenda. The universal code of human rights, widely ratified by Italy, presses for a continuous commitment to perfecting the legal order, which has immediate significance for the good governance agenda.

The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2016 represents an updated orientation tool with regards the main initiatives to be undertaken on the legislative, infrastructural and policy-making fronts in order to strengthen the Italian system for promoting and protecting human rights.

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Human Rights in Italian Case-law


As in the previous editions of this Yearbook, this section presents some examples taken from the jurisprudence of Italian courts in 2015 in which human rights as articulated in the main international sources have been given a special place. Emphasis has been put on the case-law of the Constitutional Court and of the Court of Cassation. The aim is not to provide a comprehensive survey, but rather to help identify trends and patterns in the practice of Italian courts as regards human rights issues in 2015.

I. Aspects of the Relationship between Italian Justice and ECtHR Case-law

A. Importance of ECtHR Case-law in National Law

With judgment 49/2015 the Constitutional Court declared inadmissible the question of constitutional legitimacy of article 44(2) of the Consolidated law on construction (presidential decree 380/2001) concerning the confiscation of the property after the offence of unlawful property subdivision has been ascertained. The question was raised by the Teramo Court and the Court of Cassation, criminal division (on the same question, decided in a similar way, see also Constitutional Court ordinance 23 July 2015, No. 187).

This provision has consistently been interpreted by authoritative case-law in Italy as excluding that confiscation requires criminal sentencing as a precondition. However, in the case of Varvara v. Italy (see 2014 Yearbook, p. 325) the ECtHR confirmed that confiscation “may not be applied in the case of a declaration of the crime being time-barred, even if criminal responsibility has...

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