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After a brief historical account of Italy's constitutional system under the Statuto Albertino, this book focuses on how the Italian Constitution of 1948 has evolved over the last sixty years, an evolution that has led many commentators to talk of a 'Second' or even 'Third Republic' regardless of formal amendments to the constitution.
Subsequent chapters consider the role played by Italy's main constitutional actors: the Council of Ministers and its President, the Parliament, the President of the Republic and the Constitutional Court. Particular emphasis is placed on the political dimensions of Italy's constitution, including the anomalies of the country's ever-changing party system. The text will, where appropriate, introduce a comparative dimension by considering the similarities and differences of Italy's constitutional system with those of other countries.
In addition there will be chapters specifically devoted to the evolution of regional government, which is discussed as a form of 'Italian devolution', and to fundamental and basic rights. With regard to the latter, particular attention will be given to the case law of the Italian Constitutional Court and the emergence of 'new rights' not explicitly provided for in the 1948 Constitution. The discussion concludes with a look to the future, evaluating the prospects of Italy becoming a fully-fledged federal state and the possibility of adopting a directly elected Prime Minister or President of the Republic.
The book is written in a style that makes it accessible to readers who may be unfamiliar with the Italian legal system and each chapter includes a list of further readings.