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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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Italy in the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union


I. The Principle of Retroactivity in Most Favourable Criminal Law

Case C-218/15, decided by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) on 6 October 2016, was lodged within criminal proceedings brought against several Italian citizens accused of facilitating the illegal immigration into Italy of Romanian citizens before Romania joined the EU (crime pursuant to art. 12, paragraphs 3 and 3-bis of lgs.d. 286/1998). Specifically, the referring judge asked whether, given art. 6 TEU, art. 49 CFREU, and art. 7 ECHR, Romania’s joining of the European Union abolished the crime of facilitating, by Italian citizens, the illegal immigration of Romanian citizens, which was committed before membership and, on the other hand, if the principle of retroactive application of most favourable criminal law would apply to the accused in the criminal proceedings.

The ECJ held that the criminal case in question was not aimed at third-country nationals that enter Italy illegally and remain without a residence permit, but rather the people who facilitate the entrance and illegal residence of these citizens within the territory of the State. The mere fact that, subsequent to their illegal entrance, these persons became citizens of the European Union by way of their State of origin joining the European Union should in no way influence the way in which criminal proceedings are carried out against the parties who facilitated illegal immigration. It follows that art. 6 TEU and art. 49 CFREU must be interpreted as meaning that one State...

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