Imaging Italy the day after coronavirus outbreak is over. Rebalancing state’s power, like an upside pyramid.

The Italian legal system is based on Civil law, and the main difference from Common law systems (e.g. UK, Australia, Canada etc.) is in the codification of juridical principles and not on the “judge made law”. As a consequence, in the Italian system there is a hierarchy of the sources of law. Thinking at them sorted in a pyramid-shaped form at the top, or first place, there is The Constitution. From there going down, just to mention some of the sources of law, there are Constitutional laws, EU legislation, Ordinary law including Law decrees, Regional laws and so forth. Therefore, Law decrees are above Regional laws. That means, that as a Regional law is below from hierarchical point of view than a Law decree, it cannot contrast what the higher source regulates. 

On March 8th and 9th the President of the Council of Ministers has signed two Law decrees based on which doing sport outdoor, as well as any physical activity is allowed as long as there is a minimum safety distance of 1 meter (3,2 ft) between people. However, in the last two days many Regional governors (among which those of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Campania) are issuing Regional ordinances, which forbid their citizens to doing sport and any physical activity. 

Despite all the exceptions many laws prescribe (among which the article 117, clause 1 of the Legislative decree dated 31 March 1998, no. 112, and article 32 of the Ordinary law 23 December 1978, no. 833) this situation is unusual. Regions are replacing themselves to the State creating inconsistent regulations across the peninsula (we have 20 regions in Italy, and one of these formed by two autonomous provinces). Thus, there is a State law that says people are allowed to do sport and practise exercise outdoor, and twenty and more local ordinances that, on the contrary, say that if you do what the State allows you to do, you might be accused for committing a criminal offence (violation of article 650 of Italian Criminal Code). 

My purpose in this article is not to defend the “right” to go for a run, but the Law as such. It is, indeed, to defend the Italian democracy. It is important and crucial that this situation would not trigger a process based on which regions can impose their legislation to the State, but should be the contrary; must be the State, together with local autonomies, to dictate the way, to provide the framework within they can legislate. Therefore, my concern is only one; that once the coronavirus outbreak emergency will be over Italy would face a challenge in rebalancing the distribution of power. My deepest concern would be to have strong regions facing and challenging the central state power. 


Popular posts from this blog

Il Reddito di Cittadinanza è uno strumento di civiltà. Seppur imperfetto, vi sono dei modi per rinvigorirlo e migliorarlo

Dear democratic countries remember: Elon Musk is a great entrepreneur, not a geopolitical actor.

I nuovi eroi ai tempi del covid19. L’Italia riscopre che fare quello per cui si è pagati non è un dovere ma un atto di eroismo.