Italy New Constitution Part 1
The constitution of the Italian republic is a fundamental act drawn up and voted on by a constituent assembly, freely elected, for this purpose, by the Italian people, at the same moment in which it changed its institutional forms with the referendum.
According to SHOEFRANTICS, the constitution, foreseen and desired by the two decr. legisl. place 25 June 1944, n. 151 and 16 March 1946, n. 98, preceded by the complex work of the Ministry for the constituent, was prepared by the commission for the constitution, appointed on 19 July 1946 within the constituent, made up of 75 deputies and chaired by the Hon. M. Ruini. This commission, after 362 plenary sessions and sub-commissions, sections or committees, presented the project to the constituent Assembly on January 31, 1947, followed by a learned report by President Ruini himself. Having begun its examination on March 4, 1947, the Constituent Assembly, under the presidency of U. Terracini, after having discussed it in 170 sessions, approved it on December 22, 1947: the constitution entered into force on January 1, 1948. Work of a political assembly and not of a small committee of jurists, it is not surprising that it often represents a transaction between different ideas and currents. This explains some defects, despite which, however, it is judged, on the whole, one of the best modern constitutional papers.
The new constitution is not flexible, elastic, as was the statute, but it is rigid, because it cannot be modified except by means of a special revision procedure and is protected by a constitutionality check entrusted to the Constitutional Court.
The Italian state, as outlined in the constitution, is a democratic republic “founded on work”; rejected the formula “workers’ republic”, considered excessively classist, it was decided to proclaim that the organization of the Italian state intends to rely on the work of all, not only on manual labor but on work in all forms and manifestations. In it then “sovereignty belongs to the people”; the holder of sovereignty is therefore the people who exercise it in the forms and within the limits of the constitution, especially through elections and referendums. With this formula we wanted to synthesize the essence of the democratic state, which repeats all its powers from the will of the people.
The Italian republic, while continuing to be unitary (“one and indivisible”) like the previous monarchical state, differs from this, which was strongly centralized, because, based on a broad local autonomy, it is divided into regions (see region, in this App.), which, although not having the physiognomy of states and therefore not constituting, in their union, a federal state, have, in imitation of the Austrian Länder, not only administrative but also legislative power, albeit within the limits of legislation of the republic; therefore the Italian state can now be defined as a regional state or a state with regional autonomy. Finally, the Italian state is a parliamentary republic, not a presidential one, because in it it is a clear accentuation of the pre-eminent function of the parliament vis-à-vis the head of state and the government, and not vice versa.
The constitution, made up of 139 articles, followed by 18 transitional and final provisions, begins with the “fundamental principles” (articles 1-12), followed by two parts: “Rights and duties of citizens” (articles 13-54) and “Organization of the republic” (articles 55-139). The fundamental principles are largely non-juridical and actionable norms, but abstract precepts, which nevertheless represent programs, incitements or limits; in them, among other things, solemnly affirmed, alongside the inviolable rights of man, the mandatory duties of political, economic and social solidarity; alongside the right to work for all, the duty to work; equality among all citizens is proclaimed.
Relations between the state and the Catholic Church are founded on the non-denominational nature of the state; the State and the Church are, each in its own order, independent and sovereign; their relations are regulated by the Lateran Pacts, which cannot be modified with ordinary laws except as a result of bilateral agreements, failing which a constitutional revision would be necessary. The constitution also provides for bilateral regulation of their relations with the state for the other cults.
In the field of international relations, among other things, the right of asylum is proclaimed for foreigners, who are denied the democratic freedoms guaranteed by the Italian constitution in their country, and the extradition of the foreigner, as well as of the citizen, is prohibited. political crimes; it is affirmed that Italy repudiates non-defensive war and declares itself ready to allow, on equal terms, the limitations of sovereignty necessary to give rise to an order that ensures peace and justice among nations.
The first part, “Rights and duties of citizens”, is divided into four titles: civil relations, ethical-social relations, economic relations, political relations. In the first, the rights of civil liberty are considered above all, the series of which is complete and incomparably more complete than in the Albertine statute: from the three inviolabilities, of the person, of the domicile, of correspondence, which, together with the right of belief and religious confession, of word and press, all citizens and foreigners have the rights of assembly and association, of circulation, residence and emigration, which belong to citizens.