Francesco Pesce

The European Protection of Fundamental Family Rights: Recent Developments

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The paper focuses on the right of respect for family life, whose principal supra-national statutory provision is art. 8 ECHR. Particular attention is given to the most recent interpretations adopted by the Strasbourg's Court, and to the practical implementation of its case law on the respect for family life, with a specific scrutiny on the Italian legal system and its contemporary open issues and debates. Firstly, the current scope of application of art. 8 ECHR will be outlined, so to further highlight the inconsistencies of the Italian legislation with the provision at hand, as emerging from the ECtHR's case law. Secondly, the focus will shift to exemplary cases that would require amendments in Italian family law so to ensure its consistency with the ECHR, such as organic rules on Civil Partnerships, a coherent recast of the laws on IVF, and a specific overall legislative intervention that would comprehensively address all the delicate legal issues - concerning both adults and children - connected to surrogacy carried out abroad. It appears indeed that the current Italian legal framework, where domestic courts are called - to the extent possible - to fill normative gaps, could open again the door to possible additional decisions of the ECtHR against Italy in the near future.


  • Article 8 ECHR
  • Respect for Family Life
  • Right to Marry
  • Civil Partnerships
  • Surrogacy
  • In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)


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