Constitutional Court of Italy

The Italian Constitutional Court (it. Constitutional Court ) is the only institution of constitutional jurisdiction of Italy. It has its headquarters in the Palazzo della Consulta on the Quirinal in Rome. After his official residence, the Constitutional Court is unofficially referred to as the Consulta.


The Constitutional Court is an independent constitutional body within the judicial branch. It is not the ordinary courts, the supreme court is the Court of Cassation.

The Constitutional Court decides on the conformity of laws and acts having the force of the State and the Regions ( and the autonomous provinces ) with the Constitution. Explains it this unconstitutional, thus losing the files effect from their inception. Often, however, the judgments are not restricted to annul acts. In so-called additives judgments ( sentenze additive ), de facto, new laws provisions.

The court may be called directly (direct appeal, ricorso diretto ):

  • By the State ( against a regional law or a Regional Agreement or the law of an autonomous province )
  • From one region ( against legislative acts by the state, a different region, an autonomous province )
  • Of an autonomous province ( against legislative acts by the state, a region, the other autonomous province )
  • Of a language group within the Regional Council of Trentino -Alto Adige
  • Of a language group within the Provincial Council of Bolzano ( the Diet of South Tyrol)

There are different deadlines.

The court may be called indirectly (indirect appeal, ricorso indiretto ) by a court, if within the process relevant and not manifestly unfounded Verfassungsmässigkeitsfrage ( questione di legittimità constituzionale rilevante e non manifestamente info data) arises.

Individuals may raise no direct constitutional complaint.

The Constitutional Court rules on jurisdiction disputes between the highest state organs; between the State and the regions and between different regions ( when it comes to management skills).

The court verdict also the President of the Republic, after charge by the Parliament, for treason and violation of the constitution.

It also decides on the approval of a referendum, see referendum in Italy.

An appeal against the decisions of the Constitutional Court is not given.


It consists of 15 judges. One-third of the judges will be appointed by the President, elected another third by Parliament. The other five members are elected by the highest courts, under the incumbent or already among the retired judges of the ordinary and administrative courts, under ordinary professors of law and lawyers with at least twenty years of professional experience. The term of office of nine years. There is no further term possible. The court president is elected by secret ballot by the members from among themselves. The Vice President is appointed by the court president.

President of the Court is currently Gaetano Silvestri, vice president Luigi Mazzella.

At the head of the administration of the Constitutional Court is a general secretary. Overall, it has around 350 employees.


The Constitutional Court was established on the basis of the Constitution of 1948 after some delays until 1955 at the Palazzo della Consulta. His judicial activity took it in 1956. 1967, the term of office of Constitutional Court judges was reduced from twelve to nine years.