An Italian Federalism? The State, its Institutions and National Culture as Rule of Law Guarantor

48 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2006

See all articles by Louis F. Del Duca

Louis F. Del Duca

Penn State Law

Patrick Del Duca

Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP; UCLA Law School


Italy presents a nascent federalism, inventing its Regions to address national political blockages. Evolving relations between Regions and State, plus supranational union, illustrate roles and origins of Italy's State institutions and constitutional rule of law. As the State invents Regions and embraces Supranationalism, its institutions and cultural values assure continued guarantee of fundamental constitutional principles. Electoral reform, referenda, New Deal-style authorities and judicial activism, all within Italy's historically-founded consensus on constitutional rule of law, reinforce the State and strengthen its role of guaranteeing such rule of law. As Italy continues its experiment of evolving from a unitary to a decentralized, federal-type constitutional democracy, its national judiciary and civil service, along with its legal culture which includes national organization of legal education and professions, support its institutions in assuring constitutional rule of law. Italy's experience may yield insights for other States' redefinition of federalism, e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia, as they address challenges of applying the constitutional rule of law, while confronting change.

Keywords: Italy, Italian law, rule of law, comparative constitutional law, federalism, regionalism, regions, fiscal federalism, civil law, Constitutional Court, administrative court, administrative law, unitary state, fascism, Italian politics, Western European politics, supranationalism, European Union

JEL Classification: H11, H50, H77, O52, R50

Suggested Citation

Del Duca, Louis F. and Del Duca, Patrick, An Italian Federalism? The State, its Institutions and National Culture as Rule of Law Guarantor. American Journal of Comparative Law, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Louis F. Del Duca

Penn State Law ( email )

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