In the Name of Equality.
The Italian Constitutional Court Rewrites the Rule on Surname Attribution

by Giulia Terlizzi

With judgment no 131 of 27 April-31 May 2022, the Constitutional Court replied to the question of legitimacy raised by the Court itself in February 2021. The case concerned the rules to transmit the surname as in the Italian civil code. The Court declared such rules unconstitutional, insofar as these rules do not allow the child to take the mother’s name in the event of parental consent. With this decision, the Court made not only a radical change with regards to the past discipline, but also affirmed the new rule governing family name that is based on a new fundament: the protection of gender equality as an essential element to guarantee the identity of the child. In a comparative perspective, it is interesting to consider the innovation adopted by the French law on name’s attribution– Law no 301 of 2 March 2022 – pushing even further on the role of autonomy in family law. However, both in Italy and France, uncertainties remain once equality is established.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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