The Italian Reform of the Law on Filiation and Constitutional Legality 

by Cristiano Cicero 

There is a tendency within modern legal systems towards mitigating or eliminating the differences between filiation within or outside of wedlock. The Italian law on filiation has been subject to important reforms driven by constitutional law, with the aim of guaranteeing equality between children. The endpoint of this legislative process has been to stipulate one single status for all children. The absolute equivalence between the legal status of all children, with no distinction between those born within or outside of wedlock, parental responsibility, the right of the child to be heard, the obligation to provide maintenance (Unterhaltspflicht), the principle of the welfare of the child (Kindeswohlprinzip) and the relevance of natural parentage are principles enshrined within European law; however – from a more general perspective – the formation of a common European family law is still a distant prospect on account of the different social sensitivities inherent within each legal system. 

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