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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2017


Edited By Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2017 offers an 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 on the subject of fundamental rights. The 2017 Yearbook surveys the most significant activities of national and local Italian actors at domestic and international level, including civil society organisations and universities. It also dedicates space to recommendations made by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, OSCE, 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 2016: the "Long March" towards Establishing Independent National Human Rights Institutions and the Ambiguous Addition of the Crime of Torture to the Italian Criminal Code" is the title of the 2017 Yearbook introduction.

The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2017 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


An overview of the case-law of the Italian courts in 2016 is given in this section to highlight the issue of human rights, focusing particularly on the case-law of the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation. The intent is not to provide an exhaustive examination, but rather to cite and note the guidance and the new paths that were recorded in 2016 within Italian judicial practice regarding human rights standards, with particular reference to those reflected in international law.

I. Aspects of the Relationship Between the Italian Justice System and European Case-law

A. Relevance within Italy of ECtHR Case-law

The Italian legal system is obligated to abide by the final judgments of the ECtHR (art. 46 ECHR). Due to this obligation, in some cases requests were made for the revision of final internal judgments that were in stark contrast to the legal principles established by ECtHR case-law. The issue was addressed in the Court of Cassation, civil division, sec. I, judg. No. 13435, 30 June 2016 – see also section XI. The judgment revoked a previous decision taken by the Court of Cassation based on, inter alia, the consistent case-law of the ECtHR concerning the declaration of the state of adoptability. Regarding the effectiveness of the ECtHR judgments for the Italian legal system, the Court of Cassation noted that “although officially limited to the single case decided, they are likely to provide guidelines for [the cases] to come, when the ascertained violation...

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