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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2014


Marco Mascia

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2014, the fourth in the series, 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 2014 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 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 2013: the challenges of social justice and the right to peace» is the focus of the introductory section of the Yearbook. With a view on the second Universal Periodic Review of Italy before the Human Rights Council, the Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2014, intended to be an orientation tool with regards to immediate and longterm measures that should be taken to ensure human rights for all in the Country, is integrated by an analysis of the status of implementation of the recommendations made to Italy during the first Universal Periodic Review (2010).
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Human Rights in Italian Case-law


During 2013, the Italian courts, including the Constitutional Court, have made extensive reference in their jurisprudence to sources of international human rights law, in particular the ECHR. The latter’s provisions are used as “interposed parameter” of constitutionality as set forth in article 117(1) of the Constitution (“Legislative powers shall be vested in the State and the Regions in compliance with the Constitution and with the constraints deriving from EU legislation and international obligations”). This is now an established fact and acknowledged by all courts. The present survey does not purport to be exhaustive. Whereas judgments here presented address a wide range of issues relevant to human rights, the section does not purport to be a comprehensive and systematic overview of the huge Italian case-law. The aim is, more modestly, to report those judgments that appear either to consolidate a given jurisprudence or open new paths of human rights protection, with particular regard to the rulings that refer to the international legal standards, in particular the ECHR.

In this regard it is noticeable that reference to the CFREU is still rather episodic, despite the Charter provisions largely coincide with the ECHR. Indeed, a ruling of the Supreme Court (civil division, 22 May 2013, No. 12531) has address the issue the other way round. The Supreme Court has confirmed that only in exceptional circumstances and in relation to cases of direct and specific infringement of fundamental rights, a EU law provision may be challenged before the Constitutional Court for...

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