Keywords: General Clauses, Indeterminate Legal Concepts, Compromisory Norms, Social Utility.
The essay focuses on the «nature» and the «structure» of the so-called «general clauses» and it also addresses their relationship with the Constitution. The first part is devoted to: 1) specifying in what sense it could be best to refer to the general doctrinal category «general clauses», considering that they are not defined by any law; 2) clarifying why and how rules containing general clauses could be useful; 3) identifying the interpre- tative problems that general clauses can generate. The second part of the essay addresses the abovementioned issues in the specific context of Constitutional law, thus proposing a criterion to distinguish general clauses from other indeterminate constitutional norms and considering the role that the various institutional actors play in implementing them. In the light of the problematic aspects that emerged from the case law, the author finally proposes an argumentative model to justify a decision taken on the basis of general clauses.