Appeals to a supreme court are a constitutional right – unless the Italians decide otherwise.

What The Guardian called ‘a mighty row’  burst out this month when Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond and his Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill caused a heated debate over the authority of the UK supreme court. ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/01/alex-salmond-scotland-supreme-court)

 

Today, The Herald published a very helpful letter by Ken Waddell, President of the Glasgow Bar Association, and others under the headline ‘Appeals to a supreme court are a constitutional right‘.

‘The Scotland Act’, Mr Waddell,  points out, ‘limits the powers of Scottish ministers and indeed the Parliament in two important respects. They are not able to enact or pass legislation, which is contrary to the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights  or European Community law‘.

Beneath his letter, is my own showing how Italian ministers and the Italian parliament enacted Art 26 of law 240/2010 and did just that. (http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-letters/appeals-to-supreme-court-are-a-constitutional-right-1.1105870)

Italian parliamentarians debated law 240/2010, known as ‘the Gelmini reform’  in both chambers and they voted in favour of it, before the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano signed it into law (albeit only after adding a ‘critical note’).

It would be unthinkable for a government led by Angela Merkel or Nicolas Sarkozy or David Cameron or Alex Salmond to propose laws ‘extinguishing’ the legal rights of citizens, as this Italian law does, because parliaments in Germany, France and the UK are presumed not to legislate contrary the European Treaties.

On 8 April 2011, judge Silvana Cirvelleri,  sitting in a  Turin court, citied  Art 26 of law 240/2010   – and declared the proceedings, in a foreign lecturer’s case,  ‘extinguished’ (estinto) – a double whammy – flouting both the European Convention on Human Rights and The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Italian parliamentarians debated this legislation in both chambers, and they voted  in favour of it before the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano signed it into law (albeit only after adding a ‘critical note’).

Since this law specifically targets ‘lettori’  (people teaching in their mother tongue) it affects citizens from the UK, Spain, France, Germany and other EU countries.

Put plainly – this is one member state barring citizens from all other member states the right to have their legal claims adjudicated in a court of law.

This is not Europe. This fractures everything Europeans feel proud of. This is a serious challenge to democracy, the rule of law and the very survival of the entire European Project.

There should be a mighty row.

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This entry was posted in ALLSI, David Lidington MP, Discrimination based on nationality in Italian universities, EU, Europe, European Commission, European Parliament, Free movement of workers in EU, Gelmini reform, Italy, Mark Lazarowicz, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Politics, UK Government, Workers' rights and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Appeals to a supreme court are a constitutional right – unless the Italians decide otherwise.

  1. Sylvie Depietri says:

    When you read of “lettori”s situation on papers it just seem incredible ….. but when you live it every day of your life you need that Justice will be done as soon as possible… because it’s just unbeareable!

  2. Barocco says:

    “This is a serious challenge to democracy, the rule of law…” In an interview with the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9512874.stm) Emma Bonino echoes these words: “the system is undemocratic… there is no rule of law”. How ironic that one of the founding nations of the EU is today acknowledged to be basically unqualified for membership! Why do we bother solemnly imposing all these “tests” on EU candidate countries if the current member states can flout the rules with impunity?

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