CCR №5 (138) 2020
The principle of secularism of the state in the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Italy: all roads lead to Rome

The full text of the article is available only in Russian.

Abstract

The main characteristics of the European approach to the understanding of state secularism in many respects is based on the interpretations of Article 9 of the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by the European Court of Human Rights are, on the one hand, private freedom of faith, civil and political equality of citizens regardless of their confession, and non-discrimination, and on the other, the autonomy of religious communities from the state and the non-interference of religious organizations in public governance. The article shows the special way these values were implemented in the Italian state from the moment of drafting and adoption of the Constitution in 1947 to the present time. We analyze the judgments of the Constitutional Court of Italy interpreting articles 2, 3, 7, 8, 17, 19 and 20 of the Constitution of Italy on freedom of faith and the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and other religious communities of Italy with state authorities of the Republic of Italy. The author underlines the characteristic features of Italian secularism, including the principle of “bi-lateralization” providing for the possibility of combining the principle of separation of church and state with the bilateral agreement between the state and religious communities. In the article we try to answer to the questions of how, after the revision of the Lateran Concordat in 1984, the position changed of the Catholic religion, which previously was the state religion, and what role the Constitutional Court of Italy played in this change. Finally, the author concludes that the judgments of the Constitutional Court of Italy de jure promoted centrality and impartiality of all confessions to a great extent, but de facto the problem of realization of the principle of equality still exists, with the Roman Catholic Church preserving its dominant position in political life.

About the author:
Igor Pibaev — Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Department of state legal disciplines, Volga-Vyatka Institute (Branch) of the Kutafin Moscow State Law University, Kirov, Russia

Citation: Pibaev I. (2020) Printsip svetskosti gosudarstva v resheniyakh Konstitutsionnogo suda Italii: vse dorogi vedut v Rim [The principle of secularism of the state in the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Italy: all roads lead to Rome]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.29, no.5, pp.56–73.

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