Constitution of the Italian Republic (1948)

Fundamental Principles

Article 1

Italy is a democratic republic based on labor.

The sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it in the forms and limits of the Constitution.

Article 2

The Republic recognizes and guarantees the inviolable human rights, be it as an individual or in social groups expressing their personality, and it ensures the performance of the unalterable duty to political, economic, and social solidarity.

Article 3

All citizens have equal social status and are equal before the law, without regard to their sex, race, language, religion, political opinions, and personal or social conditions.

It is the duty of the Republic to remove all economic and social obstacles that, by limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent full individual development and the participation of all workers in the political, economic, and social organization of the country.

Article 4

The Republic recognizes the right of all citizens to work and promotes conditions to fulfill this right.

According to capability and choice, every citizen has the duty to undertake an activity or a function that will contribute to the material and moral progress of society.

Article 5

The Republic, one and indivisible, recognizes and promotes local autonomy; it fully applies administrative decentralization of state services and adopts principles and methods of legislation meeting the requirements of autonomy and decentralization.

Article 6

The Republic protects linguistic minorities by special laws.

Article 7

State and Catholic Church are, each within their own reign, independent and sovereign.

Their relationship is regulated by the lateran pacts.  Amendments to these pacts which are accepted by both parties do not require the procedure of constitutional amendments.

Article 8

Religious denominations are equally free before the law.

Denominations other than catholicism have the right to organize themselves according to their own by-laws, provided they do not conflict with the Italian legal system.

Their relationship with the state is regulated by law, based on agreements with their representatives.

Article 9

The Republic promotes cultural development and scientific and technical research.
It safeguards natural beauty and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation.

Article 10

The legal system of italy conforms to the generally recognized principles of international law.

Legal regulation of the status of foreigners conforms to international rules and treaties.

Foreigners who are, in their own country, denied the actual exercise of those democratic freedoms guaranteed by the Italian Constitution, are entitled to the right to asylum under those conditions provided by law.

Foreigners may not be extradited for political offences.

Article 11

Italy repudiates war as an instrument offending the liberty of the peoples and as a means for settling international disputes; it agrees to limitations of sovereignty where they are necessary to allow for a legal system of peace and justice between nations, provided the principle of reciprocity is guaranteed; it promotes and encourages international organizations furthering such ends.

Article 12

The flag of the Republic is the Italian tricolor: green, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions.

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