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Italy’s Constitution states in Article 13 that “No form of detention, inspection or personal search is admissible, nor any other restrictions on personal freedom except by order from a judicial authority which states the reasons, and only in cases and manners provided for by law.”[1]  Exceptions are made in the same article for “cases of necessity and urgency,” but even then judicial authorities must validate the action within forty-eight hours.

As a safeguard against unjustified detentions, “liberty tribunals” (panels of judges) review cases and rule whether continued detention is warranted.[2]  The Constitution and the law provide for restitution in cases of unjust detention.[3]

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Prepared by Constance A. Johnson
Senior Legal Research Analyst
and
Kersi B. Shroff
Assistant Director of Legal Research Western Law Division
May 2007            

Prepared by Constance A. Johnson
Senior Legal Research Analyst
and
Kersi B. Shroff
Assistant Director of Legal Research Western Law Division
March 2009

  1. Constitution of the Italian Republic, 1948, as amended to 2003, The Italian Republic: Constitution, 9 CONSTITUTIONS OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD (Oceana Publications, Dec. 2006). [Back to Text]
  2. U.S. Dept. of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Italy, 2006, available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78819.htm (last visited Jan. 13, 2009). [Back to Text]
  3. For detailed discussions of criminal procedure in Italy, see G.L. CERTOMA, THE ITALIAN LEGAL SYSTEM (1985); V. CIRESE & V. BERTUCCI, THE NEW ITALIAN CRIMINAL PROCEDURE FOR FOREIGN JURISTS (1993); & J. LENA & UGO MATTEI, eds., INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN LAW (2002). [Back to Text]

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Last Updated: 09/16/2014