Monday, December 21, 2009

Italian Supreme Court Decision Signals Sovereign Resistance to European Overreach

By Piero A. Tozzi, J.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) A little-publicized decision by Italy's Constitutional Court last month may have significant implications concerning the direction of Europe, strengthening national sovereignty as a bulwark against transnational overreach by European institutions. It also signals the continued importance of national constitutions, despite the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty earlier this month.

In Sentenza N. 311, the Italian Constitutional Court stated that where rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) conflict with provisions of the Italian Constitution, such rulings "lack legitimacy." Sources close to the Italian judiciary told the Friday Fax that the decision was intended as a warning that activist rulings by the Strasbourg-based ECHR overstepping jurisdictional boundaries will not be given deference.

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