Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis Beating The 1948 Rule
Video Interview with Alessandra Galligani about the Judicial Process of a 1948 Jure Sanguinis Italian Citizenship Case.
Understanding your eligibility for having your Italian citizenship jure sanguinis recognized can be confusing. One of the 5 Key criteria is the 1948 rule. In a nutshell, the 1948 rule for Italian citizenship states that a woman can not pass on her citizenship to her descendants born before January 1, 1948. This means that it is not possible to present an application to the Italian consulates using the normal administrative procedure. I interviewed Alessandra Galligani of the Lenoci Law Firm to shed some light on how this is unconstitutional. Watch the video below.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR OFFICES, AND YOUR STAFF.
I have been working in the law field since 2001, and my area of expertise is Italian citizenship law. I am a member of the Milan Bar Association and my office is based in Milan. I have been working together with my partner Donatella Lenoci since 2009 years now. Donatella is also a member of the Milan Bar Association and exclusively practices Italian Citizenship Law. The two of us work together focusing on our clients individual needs on their road to being recognized as Italian citizens. We also have an amazing team of interns and assistants working with us to best serve our clients.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING WITH 1948 CASES AND WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS RATE?
Personally, I have been managing Italian citizenship cases, specifically 1948 cases, since 2006 with a success rate of more than 90%.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE 1948 RULING?
According to the Italian Citizenship Law established in 1912, only men are allowed to transfer Italian citizenship to their children, while women could only hold citizenship without the legal right to pass it on to their children.
In 1948, the Italian Constitution was established and introduced the principle of equality between men and women. For the first time in the history of Italy, gender discrimination was abolished. So, according to a 1983 ruling on the matter, it was determined unconstitutional to prohibit women from passing their Italian citizenship to their descendants.
Today, Italian woman born on or after January 1,1948 are eligible to have their Italian citizenship recognized and pass it on to their offspring.
However, descendants of a woman born before January 1,1948 are prevented from applying for Italian citizenship. Today, the only way for a descendant born to an Italian woman before January, 1 1948, to obtain Italian citizenship, is to file a motion with the Italian courts to appeal the “1948 Rule” based on the 2009 Italian Supreme court decision.
To sum up, If you are applying for Italian citizenship via jure sanguinis or blood right and your blood line includes a woman who was born before January 1st 1948 and a child in her line was also born before 1948 you have to appeal the 1948 ruling with the Italian courts by means of an Italian board certified Attorney.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 2009 RULING FROM THE ITALIAN SUPREME COURT?
In 2009, a new decision by the Italian Supreme Courts stated that a woman who lost her Italian citizenship, without an expression of her will, due to marriage to a foreigner even if it happened before January, 1st 1948 was unconstitutional.
Women were only allowed to transmit their Italian Citizenship in restricted cases. In particular, pursuant to Law no. 555/1912, article 1, Italian citizenship would have been passed on by a woman only if:
The father had been unknown; the father had not been an Italian citizen, or he had the citizenship of a foreign country; the child had not been allowed to acquire his/her father’s citizenship according to the law of the foreign country the father belonged.
For the same reason, a descendant born to a woman who lost her citizenship because of marriage, must be considered as an Italian citizen since he/she would have been entitled to it if it had not been for the discriminatory 1912 rule.
Even though this ruling by the Italian Supreme Court has been legally recognized, the Italian Parliament has not amended the law yet, and the Ministry of Interior still does not adhere to this line of thought.
Consequently, the descendants of an Italian woman who were born before January, 1st 1948 must obtain their recognition of the Italian citizenship through the Italian legal system.
Fortunately, the Italian courts are consistently upholding the 2009 ruling which means that a descendant of an Italian woman born before January 1,1948, has a very high chance of being recognized as an Italian citizen. This applies to all descendants, regardless of the number of generations.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS WHEN A 1948 APPEAL IS TAKEN TO THE ITALIAN COURTS?
The process begins with retaining an attorney who is admitted to an Italian bar association. Once you have secured the services of an attorney, you must provide them with a detailed reconstruction of your family tree and a complete packet of supporting documents proving your Italian lineage. Once the attorney verifies your lineage and completeness of your supporting documents then an initial claim is filed with the court in Rome to declare to the judge that the you are indeed an Italian citizen via iure sanguinis.
WHAT HAPPENS (WHAT IS THE PROCESS) WHEN A 1948 APPEAL IS TAKEN TO THE ITALIAN COURTS?
Once the claim has been submitted, The President of the Court assigns the case to a judge and a hearing is set.
The judge usually makes a final decision after one or two hearings. The length of the process, depends on various factors:
First, The complexity of the judgment, or how many ancestors there are in the genealogical tree and the number of documents that the judge will have to verify;
Secondly, the accuracy of the documents collected: the more documents that are presented that are free of inconsistencies and errors, the lesser the risk of the judge having objections, speeding up the process;
Thirdly, If the Ministry of the Interior appears at the hearing and opposes the acceptance of the petition for recognition of Italian citizenship, the Judge is obliged to weigh the opposition carefully before making a final decision, thus, delaying the process.
Finally, a delay in the process can also occur from unforeseen events in the judicial process ( such as postponed hearings, substitutions of judges, strikes of judicial activity, etc.)
At the end of the process, when the Italian citizenship has been recognized, the decision becomes final if the Ministry does not appeal it.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO HAVE THE1948 RULE APPEALED?
Generally speaking, everyone who has a woman in their lineage with a child born before 1948. Of course it is essential to review all documents and other details that are present in the case to determine eligibility.
WHAT LAWYERS ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPEAL THE 1948 RULING IN THE COURT IN ROME?
Only Lawyers registered with an Italian Bar Association are eligible to appeal the 1948 ruling.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE PROCESS AND GIVE US SOME KIND OF CHECKLIST?
First and foremost, it is very important to provide the Court with all the documents that confirm that the descendant comes from an Italian ancestor and the citizenship has not been interrupted.
It means that we have to provide all the birth and marriage certificates of all the people involved in the direct bloodline, certificate of naturalization or an evidence of no-naturalization. Finally, the documents regarding the interrupted male line, to prove that we cannot proceed through the regular administrative procedure in having your Italian citizenship recognized.
DOES THE CLIENT NEED TO BE PRESENT IN ITALY AT ANY TIME DURING THE 1948 RULE APPEAL PROCESS?
The presence of the client in Italy is not required, unless the judge makes a specific request. The client is able to either sign a power of attorney in Italy, in front of a lawyer who authenticates the signature, or abroad, It may be signed in the presence of a Notary.
ON AVERAGE, HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?
Once the claim is submitted, the judicial action lasts on average 1 year. Of course the actual length of time varies depending on the 4 factors I previously mentioned.
The next phase of the process is the transcription of your documents in Italy which could take up to 6 months, According to the law, they must be transcribed within 180 days.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED?
The cost for this process cannot be quantified generally as they vary in relation to multiple factors specific to each individual case. Currently, I can say that expenses for the judicial process start at about €850 plus the lawyer fees. The cost of the lawyer depends on the number of descendants and other variable factors on a case by case basis.
You must also consider that the plaintiff has to provide, at their own expense, all of documents proving their Italian descent which must be amended if there are any discrepancies, authenticated or Apostilled and translated. These are all services that Digging up Roots in the Boot can assist you with.
To sum up, the total cost to you, the client, is a combination of the following 5 factors.
First, the judicial fees
Second, the lawyer fees
Third, document and document correction fees
Fourth, authentication or apostille fees
Fifth, translation fees
WHEN APPLYING TO HAVE YOUR ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP VIA JURE SANGUINIS, WHAT OTHER SPECIAL SITUATIONS REQUIRE THE ASSISTANCE OF AN ITALIAN LAWYER?
All situations in which the Public Administration do not recognize the status of being an Italian citizen. Of course, each case has its own particularities that need to be reviewed each time.
Not only is necessary to proceed judicially before the Court of Rome in cases of descent by the maternal line, but also in cases in which the applicant descends from a woman who lost her Italian Citizenship against her will. For example, due to marriage to a foreigner and she had a son or a daughter who was born before January 1st, 1948.
Legal action may be taken also if a problem comes up after submitting the application administratively.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME TODAY TO HELP ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE 1948 RULE.
Thank you very much Laura for allowing me to answer some very important questions regarding the 1948 rule. I hope that this video helps Italian descendants living abroad determine whether they may be eligible to appeal a 1948 in the Italian court in Rome.
Contact Digging up Roots in the Boot if you need help with a 1948 case.