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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016

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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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Italy in the Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights

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I. Torture, Collective Expulsions, Prison Conditions

On 7 April 2015 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on the case No. 6884/11, Cestaro v. Italy, unanimously condemning Italy for substantial and procedural infringement of art. 3 ECHR prohibiting torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The complaint concerned violence and ill-treatment experienced by the complainant, who at the time was 62 years old, during a police raid on the Diaz-Pertini school during the 2001 G8 meeting in Genoa and subsequent stages of his detention.

On the one hand, the judges ascertained a substantial violation of art. 3 ECHR, qualifying the ill-treatment and beatings the complainant experienced at the hands of police officers during the raid on the Diaz-Pertini school as torture; on the other hand, this also revealed a procedural violation of the same article, given that the inadequacy of the provisions in the Italian criminal code not only prevented investigators and judicial bodies from effectively prosecuting those responsible, but also contributed to the creation of an atmosphere of impunity amongst those who took part in the violence.

In application of art. 41 ECHR, highlighting the structural nature of the problem at the root of the identified violation, the Court indicated the remedy to be taken on a national level was to adapt the legal framework, specifying a need to introduce criminal penalties which can effectively sanction behaviours which violate art. 3 ECHR. The complainant was awarded 45,000 euro...

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