Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 249–270 | Cite as

The Economic Crisis as a Threat to the Stability of Law

Recent Developments in the Case Law of the Italian Constitutional Court
  • Pietro FaragunaEmail author


This article analyses the impact of the economic crisis on the Constitutional Court’s role in the Italian legal order, particularly focussing on the paradox of a Court that is at the same time subject to the Rule of Law and guardian of the Rule of Law. This article argues that this paradox emerges in a clear manner when the Court is called to rule on austerity measures. To do this, the article analyses the main, unprecedented developments that affected the “unwritten constitution” during the times of euro-crisis. The article illustrates a first season of the Constitutional Court’s case law on the crisis legislation (2011–2014), characterized by a cautious and partly ambiguous approach. Subsequently, the article illustrates the latest developments in the Court’s case law. The article goes into the details of three recent and notable judgements, revealing a new approach of the Court to the crisis legislation. This article argues that unlike a wide perception, the economic crisis affected the Constitutional Court’ role in a very significant manner. More specifically, this paper argues that the Court’s recent decisions to overrule its settled case law with regard to the temporal effects of its judgements raise serious concern with regard to the adherence to the Rule of Law.


Rule of law Economic crisis Euro crisis Constitutional Court Constitutional transformations 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Studi sul ParlamentoLUISS “Guido Carli” University of RomeRomeItaly

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