Fundamental Principles

Article 1 [Form of State]

(1)  Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labour.

(2)  Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it in the forms and within the limits laid down by the Constitution

Article 2 [Human Rights]

The Republic recognizes and guarantees the inviolable rights of man, both as an individual and as a member of the social groups in which one's personality finds expression, and it requires the performance of imperative political, economic, and social duties.

Article 3 [Equality]

(1)  All citizens possess an equal social status and are equal before the law, without distinction as to sex, race, language, religion, political opinions, and personal or social conditions.

(2)  It is the duty of the Republic to remove all economic and social obstacles which, by limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent the full development of the individual and the participation of all workers in the political, economic, and social organization of the country.

Article 4 [Work]

(1)  The Republic recognizes the right of all citizens to work and promotes such conditions as will make this right effective.

(2)  According to capability and choice every citizen has the duty to undertake an activity or a function that will contribute to the material and moral progress of society.

Article 5 [Local Autonomy]

The Republic, one and indivisible, recognizes and promotes local autonomy; it shall apply the fullest measure of administrative decentralization in services dependent on the State and adjust the principles and methods of its legislation to the requirements of autonomy and decentralization.

Article 6 [Linguistic Minorities]

The Republic shall safeguard linguistic minorities by means of special provisions.

Article 7 [Relation between State and Church]

(1)  The State and the Catholic Church shall be, each within its own order, independent and sovereign.

(2)  Their relations shall be regulated by the Lateran Pacts. Such amendments to these Pacts as are accepted by both parties shall not require the procedure for Constitutional amendment.

Article 8 [Religion]

(1)  All religious denominations shall be equally free before the law.

(2)  Religious denominations other than Catholic shall have the right to organize themselves according to their own by-laws provided that they are not in conflict with the Italian legal system.

(3)  Their relations with the State shall be regulated by law on the basis of agreements with their respective representatives.

Article 9 [Research and Culture]

(1)  The Republic shall promote the development of culture, and scientific and technical research.

(2)  It shall safeguard the natural beauties and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation.

Article 10 [International Law]

(1)  Italy's legal system shall conform with the generally recognized principles of international law.

(2)  The legal status of foreigners shall be regulated by law in conformity with international rules and treaties.

(3)  Foreigners to whom the actual exercise of the democratic freedoms guaranteed by the Italian Constitution is denied in their own country, shall be entitled to the right of asylum within the territory of the Republic, under conditions laid down by law.

(4)  The extradition of a foreigner for political offences shall not be permitted.

Article 11 [Repudiation of War]

Italy shall repudiate war as an instrument of offence against the liberty of other peoples and as a means for settling international disputes; it shall agree, on conditions of equality with other states, to such limitations of sovereignty as may be necessary to allow for a legal system that will ensure peace and justice between nations; it shall promote and encourage international organizations having such ends in view.

Article 12 [Flag]

The flag of the Republic is the Italian Tricolour: green, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions.

Part I Rights and Duties of Citizens

Title I Civil Rights

Article 13 [Personal Freedom]

(1)  Personal freedom shall be inviolable.

(2)  No one shall be detained, inspected, or searched nor otherwise restricted on one's personal liberty save by order of the judiciary for which the reason must be stated, and then only in such cases and in the manner as the law provides for.

(3)  In exceptional cases of necessity and urgency, strictly defined by law, the police authorities may take provisional measures, which must be reported within 48 hours to the judiciary and which, if the latter do not ratify them within the next 48 hours, are considered as revoked and remain without effect.

(4)  All acts of physical and moral violence on persons subjected to any restriction of freedom shall be punished.

(5)  The law shall establish the maximum length of preventive detention.

Article 14 [Personal Domicile]

(1)  Personal domicile shall be inviolable.

(2)  No one's domicile shall be inspected, searched, or seized save in cases and in the manner laid down by law in conformity with guarantees prescribed for safeguarding personal freedom.

(3)  Special laws shall regulate verifications and inspections for reasons of public health and safety, or for economic and fiscal purposes.

Article 15 [Freedom of Correspondence]

(1)  The liberty and secrecy of correspondence and of every form of communication shall be inviolable.

(2)  Limitations upon them may only be imposed by decision of the judiciary, for which the reason must be stated, in accordance with the guarantees laid down by law.

Article 16 [Freedom of Movement]

(1)  Every citizen shall have the right to travel and reside freely in any part of the national territory, save for such limitations as laid down by a law of general application for reasons of health or security. No restriction shall be imposed for political reasons.

(2)  Every citizen shall be free to leave the territory of the Republic and re-enter it, save for such obligations as are laid down by law.

Article 17 [Right of Assembly]

(1)  Citizens shall have the right to assemble peaceably and unarmed.

(2)  For meetings, including those held in places to which the public has free access, no previous notice shall be required.

(3)  For meetings held in public places previous notice must be given to the authorities, who may forbid them only for proven reasons of security or public safety.

Article 18 [Freedom of Association]

(1)  Citizens shall have the right to form associations freely without authorization for aims not forbidden to individuals by the criminal law.

(2)  Secret associations, and those which pursue political aims, even indirectly, by means of organizations of a military character, shall be forbidden.

Article 19 [Freedom of Religion]

All shall be entitled to profess their religious beliefs freely in any form, individual or in association, to promote them, and to celebrate their rites in public or in private, provided that they are not offensive to public morality.

Article 20 [Religious Associations]

The religious character and the religious or confessional aims of an association or institution shall not justify special legal limitations or special fiscal burdens for its establishment, legal capacity, or any of its activities.

Article 21 [Freedom of Communication]

(1)  All shall have the right to express their thoughts freely by speech, in writing, and by all other means of communication.

(2)  The press shall not be subjected to any authorization or censorship.

(3)  Seizure shall be permitted only by order of the judiciary, for which the reason must be stated, in the case of offences for which the law governing the press expressly provides, or in the case of violation of such provisions as the said law may prescribe for identifying the persons in charge.

(4)  In such cases, under conditions of absolute urgency and when the immediate intervention of the judiciary is not possible, periodical publications may be seized by officers of the judicial police, who shall report immediately to the judiciary and in any case not beyond 24 hours. If the judiciary does not validate the measure within the next 24 hours, the seizure shall be considered as revoked and shall remain without effect.

(5)  The law may order, by means of general provisions, that the financial sources of periodical publications be disclosed.

(6)  Printed publications, performances, and all other exhibits offensive to public morality shall be forbidden. The law shall lay down proper provisions for preventing and repressing all violations.

Article 22 [Citizenship and Name]

No one shall be deprived of legal capacity, citizenship, or name for political reasons.

Article 23 [Personal Services]

No personal service or payment shall be forced on anyone, except as provided for by law.

Article 24 [Right to be Heard in Court]

(1)  All may bring a case before a court of law in order to protect their rights under civil and administrative law.

(2)  Defence shall be an inviolable right at every stage and instance of legal proceedings.

(3)  The poor shall be entitled, through special provisions, to proper means for action or defence before all courts.

(4)  The law lays down the conditions and means for obtaining reparation for judicial errors.

Article 25 [Defendant's Rights]

(1)  No one's case shall be removed from the court that must hear it, as pre-ordained by law.

(2)  No one shall be punished save on the basis of a law which has entered into force before the offence has been committed.

(3)  No one shall be subjected to security measures save in such cases as are laid down by law.

Article 26 [Extradition]

(1)  The extradition of a citizen may be permitted only in such cases as are expressly provided for in international conventions.

(2)  In no instance shall it be permitted for political offences.

Article 27 [Rights of the Accused]

(1)  Criminal responsibility is personal.

(2)  The defendant shall not be considered guilty until final sentence has been passed upon him.

(3)  Punishments may not consist of measures contrary to a sense of humanity and shall aim at re-educating the convicted.

(4)  The death penalty shall not be admitted save in cases specified by military laws in time of war.

Article 28 [Responsibility of Public Officials]

Officials and employees of the State and other public bodies shall be held directly responsible, under criminal, civil, and administrative laws, for acts committed in violation of rights. In such cases, civil responsibility extends to the State and to other public bodies.

Title II Ethical and Social Relations

Article 29 [Marriage]

(1)  The Republic recognizes the rights of the family as a natural association founded on marriage.

(2)  Marriage is based on the moral and legal equality of the spouses, within the limits laid down by law to safeguard the unity of the family.

Article 30 [Parental Duties and Rights]

(1)  It shall be the duty and right of parents to support, instruct and educate their children, including those born out of wedlock.

(2)  The law shall provide for the fulfillment of those duties should the parents prove incapable.

(3)  The law shall ensure the fullest legal and social protection for children born out of wedlock consistent with the rights of the members of the legitimate family.

(4)  The law shall lay down rules and limitations for ascertaining paternity.

Article 31 [Family]

(1)  The Republic shall facilitate, by means of economic and other provisions, the formation of the family and the fulfillment of the tasks connected therewith, with particular consideration for large families.

(2)  It shall protect maternity, infancy, and youth, promoting and encouraging institutions necessary for such purposes.

Article 32[Health]

(1)  The Republic shall protect the health as a basic right of the individual and as an interest of the community, and shall grant free medical care to the poor.

(2)  No one shall be forced to undergo any medical treatment, except as provided for by law. In no case shall the law violate the limits set by respect for the human being.

Article 33 [Freedom of Arts, Science and Teaching]

(1)  The arts and sciences shall be free, and free shall be their teaching.

(2)  The Republic shall lay down general rules for education and shall establish public schools of all kinds and grades. Public and private bodies shall be entitled to establish schools and educational institutions without financial burdens on the State.

(3)  The law, in laying down the rights and obligations of private schools which request parity, shall guarantee full liberty to them, and to their pupils equality of treatment with the pupils of public schools.

(4)  State examinations shall be prescribed for admission to the various types and grades of schools, or on the conclusion of educational courses, and to qualify for a profession or trade.

(5)  Institutions of higher learning, universities, and academies shall have the right to establish their own by-laws within the limits laid down by State laws.

Article 34 [Education]

(1)  Schools shall be open to everyone.

(2)  Primary education, given for at least eight years, is compulsory and free.

(3)  The able and deserving, even if lacking financial resources, shall have the right to attain the highest grades of learning.

(4)  The Republic shall make this right effective by means of scholarships, allowances to families, and other provisions, to be assigned through competitive examinations.

Title III Economic Relations

Article 35 [Labour]

(1)  The Republic shall protect labour in all its forms.

(2)  It shall provide for the training and professional enhancement of workers.

(3)  It shall promote and encourage international accords and institutions whose aim is to assert and regulate the rights of labour.

(4)  It shall recognize the freedom to emigrate, save for such limitations as are established by law for the common good, and shall protect Italian labour abroad.

Article 36 [Wages]

(1)  Workers shall be entitled to a remuneration commensurate with the quantity and quality of their work, and in any case sufficient to ensure to them and their families a free and honourable existence.

(2)  The law shall establish limits to the length of the working day.

(3)  Workers shall be entitled to a weekly day of rest and to annual paid holidays; they cannot relinquish this right.

Article 37 [Equality of Women at Work]

(1)  Working women shall be entitled to equal rights and, for comparable jobs, equal pay with men. The working conditions shall be such as to allow women to fulfill their essential family duties and ensure an adequate protection of mothers and children.

(2)  The law shall prescribe the minimum age for paid labour.

(3)  The Republic shall establish special measures for protecting juvenile labour and shall guarantee equal pay for comparable work.

Article 38 [Welfare]

(1)  All citizens unable to work and lacking the resources necessary for their existence shall be entitled to private and social assistance.

(2)  Workers shall be entitled to adequate insurance for their needs in case of accident, illness, disability, old age, and involuntary unemployment.

(3)  Disabled and handicapped persons shall be entitled to education and vocational training.

(4)  The responsibilities laid down in this article shall be entrusted to public bodies and institutions established or supplemented by the State.

(5)        Private welfare work shall be free.

Article 39 [Trade Unions]

(1)  The organization of trade unions is free.

(2)  No obligation shall be imposed on trade unions except that of registering at local or central offices according to the provisions of the law.

(3)  Trade unions shall only be registered on condition that their by-laws shall establish internal organizations based on democratic principles.

(4)  Registered trade unions shall be legal persons. Being represented in proportion to the number of their registered members, they may jointly enter into collective labour contracts which shall be mandatory for all those who belong to the industry to which the said contracts refer.

Article 40 [Right to Strike]

The right to strike shall be exercised according to the laws which regulate it.

Article 41 [Freedom of Enterprise]

(1)  Private economic enterprise shall be free.

(2)  It shall not be carried out against the common good or in a way that may harm public security, liberty, and human dignity.

(3)  The law shall determine appropriate planning and controls so that public and private economic activities may be directed and coordinated towards social ends.

Article 42 [Property]

(1)  Property may be public or private. Economic goods may belong to the State, to public bodies, or to private persons.

(2)  Private ownership shall be recognized and guaranteed by laws which shall determine the manner by which it may be acquired and enjoyed, and its limits, in order to ensure its social function and to make it open to all.

(3)  Private property, in such cases as are provided for by law, and with payment of compensation, may be expropriated for reasons of common interest.

(4)  The law shall establish the rules of legitimate and testamentary succession and its limits, and the rights of the State on inheritance.

Article 43 [Expropriation]

For purposes of general utility the law may reserve in the first instance or transfer, by means of expropriation and with payment of compensation, to the State, to public bodies, or to workers or consumer communities, specific enterprises or categories of enterprises of primary common interest that concern essential public services or energy sources, or act as monopolies.

Article 44 [Land]

(1)  For the purpose of securing a rational utilization of the land and of establishing equitable social relations, the law shall impose obligations on, and limitations to, private ownership of land, shall determine limits to its extent, depending on the regions and the various agricultural areas, shall encourage and impose land reclamation, the transformation of large estates, and the reorganization of productive units; it shall assist small and medium sized farms.

(2)  The law shall make provisions in favour of mountainous areas.

Article 45 [Cooperatives and Handicrafts]

(1)  The Republic recognizes the social utility of cooperation for mutual benefit, that is devoid of private speculative ends. The law shall promote and encourage it with suitable provisions and shall ensure its character and purposes through proper controls.

(2)  The law shall protect and promote the development of handicrafts.

Article 46 [Workers' Participation]

In order to achieve the economic and social enhancement of labour and in accordance with the requirements of production, the Republic shall recognize the right of workers to take part in the management of companies in the manner and within the limits established by law.

Article 47 [Savings]

(1)  The Republic shall encourage and safeguard savings in all forms; it shall regulate, coordinate and control the provision of credit.

(2)  It shall promote the investment of private savings in the purchase of homes and of worker-owned farms, and direct or indirect investment in shares of the country's large productive concerns.

Title IV Political Rights

Article 48 [Voting Rights]

(1)  All citizens, men or women, who have attained their majority shall be entitled to vote.

(2)  Votes shall be personal and equal, free and secret. To vote shall be a civic duty.

(3)  The right to vote shall not be limited save on account of civil incapacity, as a consequence of an irrevocable criminal sentence, or in cases of moral unworthiness established by law.

(4)  The law shall establish under which conditions and in which ways the citizens who reside abroad may effectively exercise the right to vote. To this end a foreign constituency is established for the election of the Chambers, to which a number of seats shall be assigned by constitutional law and according to criteria determined by law.

Article 49 [Political Parties]

All citizens shall have the right to associate freely in political parties in order to contribute by democratic means to the determination of national policy.

Article 50 [Petitions]

All citizens shall have the right to petition the Chambers demanding legislative measures or setting forth general needs.

Article 51 [Public Offices]

(1)  All citizens of either sex shall be eligible for public office and for elective positions on conditions of equality, according to the rules established by law.

(2)  The law may grant Italians who do not belong to the Republic the same opportunities as citizens in relation to their right to be selected for public positions and elective offices.

(3)  Any person elected to a public office shall be entitled to the time necessary for the fulfillment of such duties while keeping his job.

Article 52 [Military Service]

(1)  The defence of the Country is the sacred duty of every citizen.

(2)  Military service shall be compulsory, within the limits and in the ways laid down by law. The fulfillment of military duties shall not prejudice a citizen's position as an employee, nor the exercise of his political rights.

(3)        The rules regulating the armed forces shall conform to the democratic spirit of the Republic.

Article 53 [Taxation]

(1)  All shall contribute to public expenditure in proportion to their resources.

(2)  The taxation system shall conform to the principle of progressivity.

Article 54 [Loyalty to the Constitution]

(1)  All citizens shall have the duty to be loyal to the Republic and to comply with the Constitution and the laws.

(2)  Citizens to whom public functions are entrusted shall perform them with discipline and honour, and take an oath where it is required by law.

Part II Organization of the Republic

Title I Parliament

Section I The Two Chambers

Article 55 [Parliament]

(1)  Parliament shall consist of the Chamber of deputies and the Senate of the Republic.

(2)  Parliament shall hold joint meetings of the members of the Chamber of deputies and the Senate only in those cases laid down by the Constitution.

Article 56 [The Chamber of Deputies]

(1)  The Chamber of deputies shall be elected by universal and direct suffrage.

(2)  The number of deputies shall be six hundred and thirty.

(3)  All those voters who have reached the age of twenty-five years on the day of the election may be elected as deputies.

(4)  The apportionment of seats among the constituencies shall be obtained by dividing the number of inhabitants resulting from the most recent general census by six hundred and thirty, and distributing the said seats in proportion to the population of each constituency, on the basis of the quotients and the highest figures below these quotients.

Article 57 [The Senate of the Republic]

(1)  The Senate of the Republic shall be elected on a regional basis.

(2)  Elected senators shall be three hundred and fifteen. No Region shall have less than seven senators; Molise shall have two senators and Valle d'Aosta one. Subject to the terms set out above, seats shall be apportioned to Regions in proportion to their respective population resulting from the most recent general census, on the basis of the quotients and the highest figures below these quotients.

Article 58 [Elections for the Senate]

(1)  Senators shall be elected by universal and direct ballot by voters over twenty-five years of age.

(2)  All voters over forty years of age may be elected to the Senate.

Article 59 [Senators for Life]

(1)  Any person who has held office as President of the Republic shall be a senator for life by right, unless he waives this privilege.

(2)  The President of the Republic may appoint, as senators for life, five citizens, who have brought honour to the Nation through their exceptional accomplishments in the social, scientific, artistic, and literary fields.

Article 60 [Term]

(1)  The Chamber of deputies and the Senate shall be elected for a term of five years.

(2)  The term of each Chamber may not be extended save by law and only in the event of war.

Article 61 [Elections]

(1)  Elections for the new Chambers must take place within seventy days from the dissolution of the previous Chambers. The first sitting must be held not later than twenty days after the elections.

(2)  The powers of the previous Chambers shall be extended until the newly elected Chambers meet.

Article 62 [Sessions]

(1)  The Chambers shall meet on the first days of February and October that are not a holiday.

(2)  Each Chamber may be summoned in extraordinary session on the initiative of its Speaker or of the President of the Republic or of one third of its members.

(3)        When one Chamber is summoned in extraordinary session, the other Chamber is also convened by right.

Article 63 [Speaker]

(1)  Each Chamber shall elect its Speaker and the members of the Speaker's Office from among its own members.

(2)  The Speaker and the Speaker's Office of the Chamber of deputies shall preside whenever Parliament meets in joint session.

Article 64 [Rules of Procedures]

(1)  Each Chamber shall adopt its Standing Orders by a majority of its members.

(2)  Sittings shall be open to the public; however each of the two Chambers and Parliament in joint session may decide to sit in private.

(3)  The decisions of each Chamber and of Parliament shall not be valid unless a majority of the members are present, and without the consent of a majority of those present, save where the Constitution requires a special majority.

(4)  Members of the Government, even if they are not members of the Chambers, shall be entitled to attend meetings and required to be present if summoned. They shall be heard whenever they request it.

Article 65 [Ineligibility and Incompatibility]

(1)  The law shall define the cases of ineligibility or incompatibility with the office of deputy or senator.

(2)  No one may be a member of both Chambers at the same time.

Article 66 [Qualifications for Admission]

Each Chamber shall decide as to the qualifications for admission of its own members and as to supervening reasons of ineligibility and incompatibility.

Article 67 [Free mandate]

Each member of Parliament represents the Nation; members shall carry out their duties free from imperative mandate.

Article 68 [Indemnity, Immunity]

(1)  Members of Parliament shall not be called to answer for opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of their functions.

(2)  No members of Parliament shall, without the authorization of the Chamber to which they belong, be subjected to search warrants on their persons or in their homes, nor arrested or otherwise deprived of personal freedom, nor kept in a state of detention, save in the case of execution of an irrevocable sentence of conviction, unless they be caught in the act of committing an offence for which an order of arrest is mandatory.

(3)  A similar authorization shall be required in order to subject members of Parliament to any form of interception of their conversations or communications, and in order to seize their mail or correspondence.

Article 69 [Allowance]

Members of Parliament shall receive an allowance as laid down by law.

Section II The Drafting of Laws

Article 70 [Legislative Power]

Legislative power shall be exercised jointly by the two Chambers.

Article 71 [Initiative]

(1)  The legislative initiative shall belong to the Government, to each member of the two Chambers, and to those organs and bodies on which it is conferred by constitutional law.

(2)  The people may initiate legislation through the proposal, supported by not less than 50,000 voters, of a bill drafted in articles.

Article 72 [Legislative Proceedings]

(1)  Every bill introduced to one of the Chambers shall be, according to its Standing Orders, examined by a committee and then by the Chamber itself which shall approve it article by article, and with a final vote.

(2)  The Standing Orders shall establish an abbreviated procedure for bills declared to be urgent.

(3)  They may also establish when and how the examination and approval of bills may be devolved to committees, including standing committees, composed in such a way as to reflect the relative size of the parliamentary groups. In such cases, a bill, until it is finally voted upon, shall be submitted to the full Chamber, if the Government or one-tenth of the members of the Chamber itself or one-fifth of the committee demand that it be debated and voted on by the full Chamber, or submitted to the latter for its final vote of approval which may be preceded only by statements of vote. The Standing Orders determine the manner in which the workings of the committees shall be made public.

(4)  The ordinary procedure for the debating and voting of bills by each Chamber shall always be followed for bills on constitutional or electoral matter and for those delegating legislative power, or authorizing the ratification of international treaties, or approving the budgets and the final balance.

Article 73 [Promulgation]

(1)  Laws shall be promulgated by the President of the Republic within a month of their having been voted.

(2)  If the two Chambers, each by a vote of the majority of its members, declare a bill to be urgent, it shall be promulgated within the time set by the bill itself.

(3)  Laws shall be published immediately after they have been promulgated and enter into force on the fifteenth day after their publication, unless the laws themselves establish a different term.

Article 74 [Request for New Deliberation]

(1)  The President of the Republic, before promulgating a law, may request a new deliberation by means of a message to the Chambers stating the reasons for such a request.

(2)  If the Chambers adopt the bill once again, the law shall be promulgated.

Article 75 [Referendum]

(1)  A popular referendum shall be held to decide on the total or partial repeal of a law or of an act having force of law whenever it is requested by 500,000 voters or by five regional councils.

(2)  Referenda shall not be allowed for tax or budget laws, amnesties or pardons, or laws authorizing the ratification of international treaties.

(3)  All citizens entitled to vote for the election of the Chamber of deputies shall also be entitled to take part in a referendum.

(4)  The proposal submitted to referendum shall be approved if a majority of those eligible have participated in the voting, and if it has received a majority of valid votes.

(5)  The law shall establish the procedures for carrying out a referendum.

Article 76 [Delegation of Legislative Power]

The exercise of the legislative power shall not be delegated to the Government unless Parliament lays down the principles and criteria of guidance, and only for a limited period of time and for a well-specified subject matter.

Article 77 [Law-decrees]

(1)  The Government shall not, unless properly delegated by the Chambers, issue decrees having the value of law.

(2)  When, in exceptional cases of necessity and urgency, the Government issues, on its own responsibility, provisional measures having the force of law, it shall on the same day submit them for conversion into law to the Chambers which, even if they have been dissolved, shall be expressly summoned for that purpose and meet within five days.

(3)  Law-decrees shall lose effect as of the date of issue if they are not converted into law within sixty days of their publication. The Chambers may, however, approve laws to regulate rights and obligations arising out of decrees that have not been converted into law.

Article 78 [State of War]

The Chambers shall resolve upon the state of war and confer the necessary powers on the Government.

Article 79 [Amnesty and Pardon]

(1)  Amnesties and pardons shall be granted by means of a law whose single articles and entire text have been adopted by two thirds of the members of each Chamber.

(2)  The law which grants amnesty or pardon shall establish time limits for its enforcement.

(3)  In no instance shall amnesty and pardon be applied to offences committed after the bill has been introduced. .

Article 80 [Ratification of Treaties]

The Chambers shall authorize by law the ratification of international treaties of a political nature, or which provide for arbitration or judicial regulation, or imply modifications to the nation's territory, or financial burdens, or modifications to laws.

Article 81 [Budgets]

(1)  The Chambers shall vote the budgets and the final balance submitted by the Government each year.

(2)  The right to execute the budget temporarily may not be granted save by law and for periods no longer than four months in all.

(3)  No new taxes or new expenditures may be established by the law approving the budget.

(4)  All other laws implying new or additional expenditures must set forth the means for covering them.

Article 82 [Inquiries]

(1)  Each Chamber may institute inquiries on matters of public interest.

(2)  To this end, it will appoint a committee of its own members composed in such a way as to reflect the relative size of the parliamentary groups. The committee of enquiry carries out its investigations and examinations with the same powers and limitations as the judiciary.

Title II The President of the Republic

Article 83 [Election of the President]

(1)  The President of the Republic shall be elected by Parliament in joint session of its members.

(2)  Three delegates from every Region shall take part in the election; they shall be elected by each Regional council in such a manner as to ensure the representation of minorities. Valle d'Aosta shall be represented by only one delegate.

(3)  The election of the President shall take place by secret ballot with a majority of two-thirds of the assembly. After the third ballot a majority of the members of the assembly shall be sufficient.

Article 84 [Eligibility, Incompatibility, Allowance]

(1)  Any citizen past fifty years of age who enjoys civil and political rights may be elected President of the Republic.

(2)  The office of President of the Republic is incompatible with any other.

(3)        Allowance and endowments of the President are established by law.

Article 85 [Presidential Term]

(1)  The Presidential term shall be seven years.

(2)  Thirty days before the term lapses the Speaker of the Chamber of deputies shall summon Parliament in joint session together with the regional delegates to elect the new President of the Republic.

(3)  If Parliament has been dissolved or is to be dissolved within three months, the election shall be held within fifteen days of the meeting of the new Chambers. In the meantime, the powers of the President in office shall be extended.

Article 86 [Substitute of the President]

(1)  Should the President be unable to perform his duties, they shall be carried out by the Speaker of the Senate.

(2)  In case of permanent impediment or death or resignation of the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Chamber of deputies shall call the election of a new President of the Republic within fifteen days, unless a longer period be needed because the Chambers have been dissolved or because their term is to expire within three months.

Article 87 [Presidential Duties]

(1)  The President of the Republic is the head of the State and represents the unity of the Nation.

(2)  The President may send messages to Parliament.

(3)  He shall call the elections of the two Chambers and fix the date of their first meeting.

(4)  He shall authorize the submission to Parliament of bills proposed by the Government.

(5)  He shall promulgate laws and issue decrees having the value of law, and government regulations.

(6)  He shall call a referendum in such cases as are laid down by the Constitution.

(7)  He shall appoint State officials in such cases as are laid down by the law.

(8)  He shall accredit and receive diplomatic representatives; ratify international treaties, provided they are authorized by Parliament whenever such authorization is needed.

(9)  The President shall be the commander of the Armed forces; he shall be the chairman of the Supreme Defence Council as constituted by law, and shall declare war when it has been resolved upon by Parliament.

(10) The President shall be the chairman of the Superior Council of the Judiciary.

(11) The President may grant pardons and commute punishments.

(12) The President shall confer the honours of the Republic.

Article 88 [Dissolution of the Chambers]

(1)  The President of the Republic may dissolve one or both Chambers having consulted their Speakers.

(2)  He may not exercise this power during the last six months of his term of office, unless these six months coincide entirely or in part with the last six months of the term of office of either Chamber or both.

Article 89 [Countersignature]

(1)  No act of the President shall be valid unless it is countersigned by the Ministers who have submitted it and who assume responsibility for it.

(2)  Acts having the value of law and such other acts as are laid down by law shall be further countersigned by the President of the Council of Ministers.

Article 90 [Presidential Indemnity]

(1)  The President of the Republic shall not be held responsible for acts carried out in the exercise of his duties, save in case of high treason or attempts to overthrow the Constitution.

(2)  In such cases he shall be impeached by Parliament in joint session by the vote of a majority of its members.

Article 91 [Oath of Loyalty]

Before taking office, the President of the Republic shall swear an oath of loyalty to the Republic and to the Constitution before Parliament in joint session.

Title III The Government

Section I The Council of Ministers

Article 92 [Executive Power]

(1)  The Government of the Republic consists of the President of the Council and of the ministers, which jointly constitute the Council of ministers.

(2)  The President of the Republic appoints the President of the Council and, on his advice, the ministers.

Article 93 [Oath]

Before assuming office, the President of the Council and the ministers shall swear an oath before the President of the Republic.

Article 94 [Vote of Confidence]

(1)  The Government must enjoy the confidence of both Chambers.

(2)  Each Chamber shall grant or withdraw its confidence by a motion for which reasons must be stated and which is voted on by roll-call.

(3)  Within ten days of its appointment, the Government shall appear before each Chamber in order to obtain its vote of confidence.

(4)  If either Chamber rejects a government proposal, this shall not force the Government to resign.

(5)  A motion of no confidence must be undersigned by at least one-tenth of the members of either Chamber and shall not be debated before three days after it has been moved.

Article 95 [Responsibilities]

(1)  The President of the Council shall conduct the general policy of the Government and shall be responsible for it. He shall ensure the unity of general political and administrative policies, promoting and coordinating the activities of the ministers.

(2)  Ministers shall be jointly responsible for the decisions of the Council of ministers, and individually for those of their own ministries.

(3)  The law shall establish the regulations concerning the functioning of the Presidency of the Council and fix the number, responsibilities and organization of the ministries.

Article 96 [Ministerial Offences]

The President of the Council of ministers and the ministers, even if not in office any longer, are subject to ordinary courts, for offences committed in the exercise of their functions, provided authorization is granted by the Senate of the Republic or by the Chamber of deputies, in accordance with the provisions established by constitutional law.

Section II Public Administration

Article 97 [Public Offices]

(1)  Public offices shall be organized according to the provisions of law, so that the proper and fair operation of public affairs may be guaranteed.

(2)  Areas of competence, duties and responsibilities of public officials must be laid down in regulations on public offices.

(3)  Appointments in the public administration shall be made through public competitions, unless otherwise provided for by law.

Article 98 [Independence of Officials]

(1)  Public officials shall be at the sole service of the Nation.

(2)  If they are members of Parliament they shall not be promoted except by seniority.

(3)  The right to register as members of political parties may be limited by law in the case of members of the judiciary, professional members of the Armed forces on active duty, police officials and officers, as well as diplomatic and consular representatives abroad.

Section III Auxiliary Institutions

Article 99 [National Council of Economy and Labour]

(1)  The National Council of Economy and Labour shall be composed, in accordance to rules set by law, of experts and representatives of several trades, in such a manner that their quantitative and qualitative importance is properly taken into consideration.

(2)  It shall offer its advice to Parliament and to the Government for such matters and such purposes as are laid down by law.

(3)  It shall have the right to initiate legislation and may contribute to the drafting of economic and social laws, according to the principles and within the limits laid down by law.

Article 100 [Council of State]

(1)  The Council of State shall grant advice on legal-administrative matters, and ensure justice in the operation of the public administration.

(2)  The Court of Accounts shall exercise both prior control on the legitimacy of Government measures and subsequent control on the management of the State budget. In the cases and in the manner laid down by law, it takes part in the control of the financial management of those bodies to which the State regularly contributes. It shall report directly to the Chambers on the results of the audits performed.

(3)  The law shall ensure the independence from the Government of these two institutions and of their members.

Title IV The Judiciary

Section I Organization of the Judiciary

Article 101 [Administration of Justice]

(1)  Justice shall be administered in the name of the people

(2)  Judges shall be subject only to the law.

Article 102 [Judges]

(1)  The duties of the judiciary shall be carried out by ordinary courts empowered and regulated according to the provisions laid down in the laws on the organisation of the judiciary.

(2)  No extraordinary or special judge shall be established. Only specialized sections for specific matters may be established within the ordinary courts; qualified citizens who are not members of the judiciary may take part.

(3)  The law shall establish the cases and the manner in which the people may take direct part in the administration of justice.

Article 103 [Council of State, Court of accounts, Military Tribunals]

(1)  The Council of State and other courts of administrative justice shall have jurisdiction over lawful claims under administrative law, and also over civil-law claims against the public administration in specific matters laid down by the law.

(2)  The Court of accounts shall have jurisdiction over matters of public accounts and such other matters as are specified by law.

(3)  In time of war military courts shall have jurisdiction as laid down by law. In time of peace their jurisdiction shall be limited to military offences committed by members of the Armed forces.

Article 104 [Independent Judiciary]

(1)  The judiciary is an independent branch of government and shall not be subject to any other.

(2)  The President of the Republic shall chair the Superior Council of the Judiciary.

(3)  The first president and the general public prosecutor of the Court of Cassation shall be ex-officio members of it.

(4)  Two-thirds of the other members shall be elected by all ordinary judges among those belonging to the several classes of them, and one-third by Parliament in joint session, from among full professors of law and lawyers of at least fifteen years standing.

(5)  The Council shall elect a vice-chairman from among the members elected by Parliament.

(6)  The elected members of the Council shall hold office for four years and may not be re-elected immediately.

(7)  While they are in office they may not be registered as members of the legal profession, nor of Parliament or of a Regional council.

Article 105 [Superior Council of the Judiciary]

The Superior Council of the Judiciary shall have the sole right to appoint, assign, move and promote members of the judiciary, and to take disciplinary action against them, in accordance with procedures laid down by the laws on the organisation of the judiciary.

Article 106 [Appointment of Members of the Judiciary]

(1)  Members of the judiciary are appointed on the basis of competitive examinations.

(2)  The law on the organisation of the judiciary may provide for the appointment of honorary magistrates, possibly by election, to perform any of the duties attributed to single judges.

(3)  On the proposal of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, full professors of law and lawyers of at least fifteen years standing and registered in the special rolls entitling them to practice in the higher courts, may be appointed as members of the Court of Cassation for exceptional merits.

Article 107 [Disciplinary Action]

(1)  Members of the judiciary may not be removed from office. They may not be dismissed or suspended from their duties, nor moved to other jurisdictions or functions, save by a decision of the Superior Council of the Judiciary taken for reasons and with guarantees for their defence laid down by the laws on the organisation of the judiciary, or with their own consent.

(2)  The Minister of Justice may initiate disciplinary action.

(3)  Judges shall be distinguished by function only.

(4)  The public prosecutor shall enjoy the guarantees laid down in his favour by the laws on the organisation of the judiciary.

Article 108 [Laws on the Organisation of the Judiciary]

(1)  The rules on the organisation of the judiciary and every judicial authority shall be established by law.

(2)  The law shall protect the independence of the judges of special courts, of the public prosecutors attached to them and of all those, not belonging to the judiciary, who may take part in the administration of justice.

Article 109 [Judicial Police]

Judiciary authorities directly shall command the judiciary police.

Article 110 [Minister of Justice]

Without prejudice to the attributions of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, the organisation and operation of services regarding the administration of justice shall be vested in the Minister of Justice.

Section II Rules on Jurisdiction

Article 111 [Legal Proceedings]

(1)  Justice shall be administered by means of fair trials regulated by law.

(2)  Each trial shall be based upon the equal confrontation between the parties before an independent and impartial judge. The law shall ensure the reasonable lenght of the proceedings.

(3)  In criminal trials, the law shall ensure that the accused are confidentially informed of the nature and reasons of the charges brought against them in the shortest time possible; that they have the time and means to prepare their defence; that they have the right to question those who testify against them before the court, or to have them questioned; to obtain that those who may testify in their favour be summoned and examined under the same conditions granted to the prosecution and to obtain that any evidence in their favour be acknowledged; that they may rely on the help of an interpreter if they do not understand or speak the language of the trial.

(4)  Proofs in criminal trials may only be established in accordance to the principle of confrontation between parties. No defendant may not be proven guilty on the basis of witness given by anybody who, by free choice, has always purposely avoided to be cross-examined by the defendants and their defence.

(5)  The law shall determine when proofs may be established without confrontation between the parties, either by consent of the defendants or as an effect of proven misdemeanour.

(6)  Reasons shall be stated for all judicial decisions.

(7)  On points of law, appeals to the Court of Cassation shall always be allowed against sentences and measures concerning personal freedom delivered by the ordinary or special courts. These provisions may be waived only in the case of sentences pronounced by military courts in time of war.

(8)  Appeals to the Court of Cassation against decisions of the Council of State and of the Court of Accounts shall only be allowed for reasons of jurisdiction.

Article 112 [Criminal Proceedings]

The public prosecutor shall have the duty to initiate criminal proceedings.

Article 113 [Judicial Review]

(1)  It shall always be permitted to bring a legal case against a decision taken by the public administration before an ordinary or administrative court, in order to protect one's own rights under civil or administrative law.

(2)  Such judicial protection shall not be excluded or limited to special forms of action or to specific types of decisions.

(3)  The law shall establish which courts may annul decisions taken by the public administration, in which cases and to which effect.

Title V Regions, Provinces, Municipalities

Article 114 [Administrative Partition]

The Republic is divided into Regions, Provinces and Municipalities

Article 115 [Regions]

The Regions shall be constituted as autonomous territorial units with their own powers and functions according to principles established by the Constitution.

Article 116 [Special Regions]

Particular forms and conditions of autonomy, as laid down by special statutes adopted by constitutional law, shall be granted to Sicilia, Sardegna, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Valle d'Aosta.

Article 117 [Regional Legislative Power]

(1)  Within the limits of the fundamental principles established by State law, Regions shall legislate in regard to the following matters, provided that such legislation does not conflict with the interest of the Nation or of other Regions:

-     Organization of the offices and the administrative bodies dependent on the Region;

-     Municipal boundaries;

-     Urban and rural police;

-     Fairs and markets;

-     Public charities and health and hospital care;

-     Vocational training of artisans and school care;

-     Local museums and libraries;

-     Town planning;

-     Tourism and hotel industry;

-     Regional tram and bus services;

-     Regional roads, aqueducts, and public works;

-     Lake navigation and ports;

-     Mineral and spring waters;

-     Quarries and peat bogs;

-     Hunting;

-     Fishing in inland waters;

-     Agriculture and forestry;

-     Handicrafts;

-     Other matters indicated by constitutional law.

(2)  The laws of Republic may delegate the power to issue norms for their implementation to the Regions.

Article 118 [Administration]

(1)  The administrative functions pertaining to the matters listed in the preceding article shall reside in the Regions, except those of exclusively local relevance which, by the laws of the Republic, may be delegated to the Provinces, Municipalities, or other local authorities.

(2)  The State may, by law, delegate the exercise of other functions of an administrative nature to the Regions.

(3)  The Regions shall usually perform their administrative functions by delegating them to the Provinces, Municipalities or other local authorities, or by availing themselves of their offices.

Article 119 [Financial Autonomy]

(1)  The Regions shall be granted financial autonomy within the forms and limits established by the laws of the Republic which shall coordinate this regional autonomy with the finances of the State, of the Provinces, and of the Municipalities.

(2)  The Regions shall be assigned their own taxes and shares of State taxes in relation to their need to meet the expenditures necessary to the fulfillment of their ordinary functions.

(3)  The State shall assign by law special allocations to single Regions for specific purposes and particularly for the development of Southern Italy and the Islands.

(4)  The Regions shall have their own demesne and property according to the laws of the Republic.

Article 120 [Limits on Regional Legislation]

(1)  Regions shall not levy import or export duties or duties on transit between Regions.

(2)  Regions shall not adopt provisions which hinder the free movement of persons or goods between Regions.

(3)  Regions shall not limit the right of citizens to exercise their professions, job or work in any part of the national territory.

Article 121 [Regional Organs]

(1)  Regional organs shall be: the regional Council, the regional Cabinet and its President.

(2)  The regional Council shall exercise the legislative powers granted to the Region and all other functions conferred on it by the Constitution and by law. It may propose bills to the Chambers.

(3)  The regional Cabinet shall be the executive authority of the Region.

(4)  The President of the regional Cabinet shall represent the Region; he shall conduct the general policy of the regional Cabinet and shall be responsible for it; he shall promulgate regional laws and regulations; he shall conduct the administrative functions delegated to the Region by the State in accordance with the instructions of central government.

Article 122 [Regional Form of Government]

(1)  The electoral system, and the number and cases of ineligibility and incompatibility of the President and the other members of the regional Cabinet and the regional Council, shall be established by the laws of the Region within the limits of the fundamental principles determined by a State law which shall also determine the length of the elected organs.

(2)  No one shall be a member of a regional Council or a regional Cabinet and of either Chamber of Parliament, or of another regional Council or another regional Cabinet, or of the European Parliament, at the same time.

(3)  Every regional Council shall elect a President from its own members, and a President's Office for the conduct of its proceedings.

(4)  Regional councillors shall not be called upon to answer for opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of their duties.

(5)  The President of the regional Cabinet shall be elected by universal and direct suffrage, unless when the regional Statute establishes otherwise. The elected President appoints and dismisses the members of the regional Cabinet.

Article 123 [Regional Statutes]

(1)  Every Region shall have a statute which determines the form of government and the fundamental principles of the organization and the functioning of the Region, in accordance with the Constitution. The statute shall regulate the exercise of initiative and of referendum on regional laws and regional administrative decisions, and the publication of regional laws and regulations.

(2)  The statutes shall be adopted and amended by the regional Council by a law approved twice with a majority of its members and with an interval between the votes of no less than two months. This law must not be submitted to the Government's commissioner. Within thirty days of its publication, the central Government may bring a case concerning the constitutional legitimacy of a regional statute before the Constitutional Court.

(3)  The statute shall be submitted to a popular referendum when, within three months of its publication, a request is made by one fiftieth of the electors of the Region or by one fifth of the members of the regional Council. The statute submitted to referendum shall not be promulgated unless approved by a majority of valid votes.

Article 124 [Government Commissioner]

A Government commissioner, residing in the capital of the Region, shall supervise the administrative functions exercised by central government officials in the Region and coordinate them with those of the Region.

Article 125 [Control of Legitimacy]

(1)  Control over the legitimacy of administrative decisions of regional authorities shall be exercised, in decentralized form, by a State authority in the manner and within the limits established by the laws of the Republic. In specific cases, the law may admit a control over the merits of the case, but only to the effect of promoting, through a request for which reason must be stated, a re-examination of a decision taken by the regional Council.

(2)  In each Region administrative courts of first instance shall be established in accordance with the laws of the Republic. The courts may have branches in places other than the regional capital.

Article 126 [Dissolution of the Regional Council and Dismissal of the President]

(1)  By means of a decree of the President of the Republic stating the resons for it, the dissolution of the regional Council and the dismissal of the President of the regional Cabinet may be ordered when they have acted against the Constitution or when they have committed serious violations of the law. The dissolution and the dismissal may also be ordered for reasons of national security. The decree is adopted having consulted a Commission for regional affairs composed of Senators and Deputies and formed according to the law of the Republic.

(2)  The regional Council may express its no confidence in the President of the Cabinet by a motion for which reasons must be stated, which shall be undersigned by at least one fifth of its members, voted by roll-call and approved by a majority of its members. The motion shall not be debated before three days after it has been moved.

(3)  The approval of a no confidence motion against the President of the regional Cabinet elected by universal and direct suffrage, as well as the removal, the permanent impediment, the death or the resignation of the President entail the resignation of the Cabinet and the dissolution of the Council. In every case the same effects follow when a majority of the members of the Council simultaneously resign.

Article 127 [Legislative procedure]

(1)  Every bill voted by the regional Council shall be submitted to the Government's commissioner who, except in the case of opposition on the part of the Government, must release it within thirty days from its submission.

(2)  The law shall be promulgated within ten days from the date of release and enters into force not earlier than fifteen days from its publication. If a bill is declared urgent by the regional Council, and the Government of the Republic so permits, its promulgation and date of effect shall not be subject to the above terms.

(3)  When the Government of the Republic regards a bill approved by the regional Council as exceeding the competence of the Region or conflicting with the interests of the Nation or with those of other Regions, it shall return it to the regional Council within the period established for its release.

(4)  If the Regional Council approves it again by a vote of a majority of its members, the Government of the Republic may, within fifteen days from the communication of the decision, raise the question of its legitimacy in front of the Constitutional court, or the question of its merits, in the case of conflicting interests, to the Chambers. In case of doubt, the Constitutional court shall decide who has jurisdiction.

Article 128 [Provincial and Municipal Autonomy]

Provinces and Municipalities are autonomous within the principles laid down by laws of the Republic of general application, which determine their responsibilities.

Article 129 [Decentralization]

(1)  Provinces and Municipalities are territorial units of State and of regional decentralization as well.

(2)  For the sake of further decentralization, the territory of a Province may be divided into districts with administrative functions only.

Article 130 [Legitimacy of Provincial and Municipal Decisions]

(1)  A regional authority, constituted in accordance with procedures established by the laws of the Republic, exercises, in a decentralized form, the control over the legitimacy of decisions taken by Provinces, Municipalities and other local authorities.

(2)  In cases specified by law, a control over merits may be exercised in the form of a request, for which reason must be stated, to the competent authority for re-examination of previously taken decisions.

Article 131 [List of Regions]

The following Regions are instituted: Piemonte; Valle d'Aosta; Lombardia; Trentino-Alto Adige; Veneto; Friuli-Venezia Giulia; Liguria; Emilia-Romagna; Toscana; Umbria; Marche; Lazio; Abruzzo; Molise; Campania; Puglia; Basilicata; Calabria; Sicilia; Sardegna.

Article 132 [Regional Boundaries]

(1)  By means of a constitutional act, the regional Council having been consulted, existing Regions may be merged, or new Regions created, provided the population of any new Regions is at least one million, when it is so requested by as many municipal Councils as represent at least one third of the involved population, and when the proposal has been approved by the majority of the involved population in a referendum.

(2)  By means of a referendum and by a law of the Republic, the regional Council having been consulted, consent may be given for Provinces and Municipalities that request it to be detached from one Region and attached to another.

Article 133 [Provincial and Municipal Boundaries]

(1)  Changes of provincial boundaries and the creation of new Provinces within the area of a Region, shall be established by laws of the Republic, after it has been requested by the Municipalities, having consulted the Region.

(2)  Each Region, having consulted the involved population, may, by its own enactment, establish new Municipalities and modify their boundaries and names within its own territory.

Title VI Constitutional Guarantees

Section I The Constitutional Court

Article 134 [Jurisdiction]

The Constitutional Court shall decide:

-     on disputes concerning the constitutional legitimacy of laws and acts having the force of law, adopted by the State and the Regions;

-     on conflicts arising over the allocation of powers between branches of government within the State, between the State and the Regions, and between Regions;

-     on accusations raised against the President of the Republic, in accordance with the Constitution.

Article 135 [Composition]

(1)  The Constitutional Court shall be composed of fifteen judges, one third of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, one third by Parliament in joint session, and one third by the ordinary and administrative supreme courts.

(2)  The judges of the Constitutional Court are chosen from among magistrates, including those in retirement, of the supreme ordinary and administrative courts, from among university full professors of law, and from among lawyers who have been in pratice for at least twenty years.

(3)  The judges of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed for nine years. Their term shall begin from the day of their swearing in and they may not be re-appointed.

(4)  At the end of this term the constitutional judge shall cease from office and may not exercise his functions any longer.

(5)  According to rules established by law, the Court shall elect, from among its members, a President who shall remain in office for three years and may be re-elected; the ordinary expiry term for constitutional judges shall hold in any case.

(6)  The office of judge of the Court is incompatible with that of member of Parliament, or of a regional Council, with the exercise of the legal profession or with any other position and office established by law.

(7)  When sitting to judge on a case of impeachment against the President of the Republic, the Court shall comprise sixteen additional members, who shall be drawn by lot from a list of citizens elected by Parliament every nine years, from among those possessing the qualifications for election to the Senate, by the same procedures as for the appointment of the ordinary judges of the Court.

Article 136 [Unconstitutional Laws]

(1)  When the Court declares a law, or an act having the force of law, unconstitutional, this shall cease to have effect from the day following the publication of the decision.

(2)  The decision of the Court shall be published and reported to Parliament and to the involved regional Councils in order that they may take appropriate measures in constitutional forms, where considered necessary.

Article 137 [Conditions and Terms]

(1)  A constitutional act shall establish the conditions, forms and terms for bringing a case concerning the constitutional legitimacy of a law, and shall protect the independence of the judges of the Court.

(2)  All other rules necessary for the establishment and functioning of the Court shall be determined by law.

(3)  The decisions of the Constitutional Court may not be appealed against.

Section II Amendments to the Constitution. Constitutional Laws

Article 138 [Procedure for Constitutional Amendment]

(1)  Amendments to the Constitution and other constitutional acts shall be adopted by each of the two Chambers twice with an interval between the votes of not less than three months, and shall be approved by a majority of the members of each Chamber in the second voting.

(2)  Such laws shall be submitted to popular referendum when, within three months of their publication, a request is made by one fifth of the members of either Chamber or by 500,000 electors or by five regional Councils. The law submitted to referendum shall not be promulgated unless approved by a majority of valid votes.

(3)  No referendum may be held if the law has been approved by each Chamber, in the second vote, with a majority of two thirds of its members.

Article 139 [Limit to Constitutional Amendments]

The Republican form of the State may not be changed by way of constitutional amendment.

Adopted on 22 December 1947. Editor's note: The text of the ICL edition has been thoroughly reviewed and in part re-written by Prof. Carlo Fusaro with the help of Dr. Federico Signorini. It has been consolidated up to and including all amendments until the status date (above). This new text takes into consideration the translation of the 1948 version provided for by the Italian Embassy in London, the translation of the 1990 version by C. Neenan published by the Chamber of deputies in Rome, and the translation of the later amendments by Bernard E. DeLury, Jr., published in 1994 by Oceana Publications, Inc. Most recent changes include Art. 48 (4), 111 (1)-(5), 121, 122 (1)-(2); (5), 123, and 126.

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