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Italian Constitutional Court (Corte costituzionale italiana), No. 159/2009, 22 May 2009

Type Judgment
Case number 159/2009


Issue of constitutional legitimacy regarding the use of the Friulian language in relations with the Region (and instrumental bodies) even outside the territory where the linguistic group is based. 

Normative references

Art. 6 Italian Constitution
Law of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia 18/12/2007 n.29 art. 8 co. 3


1. It is constitutionally illegitimate art. 9, paragraph 3, of the law of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region of 18 December 2007, n. 29, which contemplates a mere faculty of "repetition of interventions in Italian", or of the "contextual deposit of texts translated into written form" in the debates of municipal councils in which the Friulian language can be used. In fact, the legislation prescribes the "immediate translation" of such interventions; moreover, in recognizing the right to use the different language to members of the protected linguistic minority belonging to the collegial bodies of local and regional authorities, it balances it with the provision of "an immediate translation into Italian" to guarantee both the other components and " declare that they do not know the language admitted for protection "and of the same overall functionality of the public bodies concerned.

2. The linguistic rights of citizens belonging to the German minority of the province of Bolzano in relations with the courts and ordinary criminal offices do not extend to relations with military offices and courts as, given the rules contained in the Presidential Decree 574 of 1988 derive their "raison d'être" from the protection of the identity of a linguistic minority and are not rules that directly concern the process, but that in the process find only an opportunity to be realised, and that, with respect to these rules, the need to uniformity yields to those of specification and differentiation as well as the peculiarities of the special system in which they are inserted and from which their validity derives.