Decision of the Council of State, III Section, No. 4899 of 8 October 2015

With decision No. 4899/2015, the Council of State ruled the annulment of the decision No. 0524/2015 of the TAR of Lazio. In the latter it was stated that a) a right of the same-sex couples to have recognized in Italy their marriage celebrated abroad does not exist in the Italian legal order; and b) any amendment to, or writing off of a transcription made in the vital records requires to be ordered by the judiciary (i.e., it cannot derive from determination by administrative authority). The Council of State ruled, by contrast, that the power in question is given also to the Prefect (as being the superordinate administrative authority in respect of municipalities), in order to guarantee the legal certainty in respect of any issue affecting the status of persons. According to the Council of State, recording a same-sex marriage in the vital records is not possible in Italy because same-sex marriage is not envisaged in national law. No contrary legal obligations derive from Article 12 of the ECHR, or Article 9 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, because the ways and means for protecting the rights of the same-sex couples is at the discretion of Contracting States. This concept has been highlighted also by the European Court of Human Rights in judgment of 21 July 2015 on the Oliari and others v. Italy case.

  • See also:

    Decision of the Regional Administrative Court for Lombardy No. 2037 of 9 July 2015; Decision of the Regional Administrative Court for Lazio No. 3907 of 9 March 2015; Decision of the Court of Cassation, I Civil Section, No. 4184 of 15 March 2012

  • Original language: Italiano