The Italian Constitution

The Italian Constitution is the fundamental law of Italy To live together in a respectful way every person must follow laws that allow coexistence among all and that inform us about the rights and duties of each of us.

What is the Italian Constitution?

The Italian Constitution is the most important law in Italy and came into force on 1 January 1948, when the dictatorship of fascism ended.

The first article of the Italian Constitution says: “Italy is a democratic Republic, founded on work. Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it in the forms and limits of the Constitution”

This first article explains that in Italy it is the people who choose who should govern the country and can make their choices through the right to vote. Voting is indeed a fundamental right and duty for every person. 

In the Constitution you will find many laws that explain the rights and duties of all people living in Italy, how the government is organized and who makes laws and enforces them.

Structure of the Constitution

The Italian Constitution is made up of 139 articles, which cannot be modified except through special laws, and is divided into three different parts.

Fundamental principles

The first twelve articles speak of the fundamental principles that are the values that must be respected in the Italian Republic. The values are democracy, work, solidarity, equality and freedom, but also health, education and the rights of families and children.

In this section the Constitution explains that all citizens have the right to freedom and that no one can limit it or not respect it: freedom of expression, freedom of religion, of thought, of association by recognizing minorities and equality of all before the law.

Part I: Rights and obligations

In Part I, the articles present the rights and duties of each person, reminding us how each of us should behave in respect of others and the community in which he lives. 

Among the rights, the right of the family, of the possibility of creating an association, the right to study and to have a job.

Here you will also find information about your stay, domicilio and residence in Italy.

Part Two: State organization

The second part of the Constitution explains the order of the Italian Republic, the division of powers and the functioning of the state.

In particular, it speaks of the tasks of the President of the Republic, the Parliament, the Government, the Judiciary, the Regions and the Municipalities.

What does the Constitution say to foreign citizens in Italy?

As we have said, all the most important rights of every person are explained in the Constitution. 

All people living in Italy, both Italian and foreign born, have the same rights: right to healthcare, right to life, right to freedom to profess their religion whatever their community, religion, culture or ethnicity.

In particular, Article 3 of the Constitution recognizes that we are all equal before the law in our rights and duties, both citizens of another country living in Italy and the people who have Italian citizenship.

Remember that the Constitution also recognizes the right to asylum in Italy and for this reason the Country commits to welcome and protect all those people who, in their land, can no longer live for reasons of war or conflict or because they are deprived of their freedom.

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