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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2015

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Edited By Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights

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.
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Human Rights in Italian Case-law

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As in the previous editions of this Yearbook, this section presents some examples taken from the jurisprudence of the Italian courts in 2014 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, as always, is to not to provide a comprehensive survey of the court’s practice, rather to help identifying trends and patterns in the practice of Italian courts as regards human rights issues.

In a decision likely to spark the debate also at the international level, the Constitutional Court – judgment 238/2014 – pronounced the unconstitutionality of some provisions of the law 14 January 2013, No. 5, giving execution to the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that adjudicated the dispute between Italy and Germany on State immunity in foreign courts.

The issue of constitutionality (see 2013 Yearbook, pp. 310 and 374) was raised in connection with a number of judgments of Italian courts that ordered Germany to pay compensation to Italian military internees who survived imprisonment and forced labour in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. In 2008 Germany sued the Italian State before the ICJ, maintaining that such decisions were in breach of the principle of State immunity from proceedings in foreign courts. The ICJ, in a ruling published on 3 February 2012, backed the position taken by Germany, hence the adoption by the...

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