Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Call for Papers — Quaderni costituzionali — “The Environmental Protection in the Constitution”

 “Quaderni costituzionali” – Italian Journal of constitutional law invites submission for the 13th edition of the competition – Call for articles on “The environmental protection in the Constitution”

The instance of environmental protection, in its multiple declinations, is the object of several norms and legal commitments of European and international law. These tools find in the prevalence of values of economic nature and in the application of questionable scientific evidences significant obstacles to their enforcement. With this regard, it appears appropriate to question whether the Italian Constitution still has an autonomous role to play or, instead, is to be considered outdated when it comes to the protection of the environment. Therefore, in their articles the applicants are asked to take a position on the following interpretative hypotheses.

1. Is the Italian Constitution irremediably affected by an anthropocentric paradigm (likewise by other cultural traits dominant at the time when it was drafted) that prevents an autonomous and fully-fledged consideration of the theme of the “nature” – like the textual reference to “landscape” (Art. 9 Const.) and to the “social utility” (Art. 41, 2nd para. Const.) may appear to hint at?

2. Can the text of the Italian Constitution be profitably amended for what concerns the protection of the environment as to guarantee the specific balance between the values enshrined in this fundamental Charter, where such a balance is to be preferred to that ensured at the supranational and international levels?

3. Can the Italian Constitution, as it stands, be invoked as the ground for the adoption of a series of general, more incisive or, in any event, different measures compared to those in force?

The applicants can then answer to one or more of the following questions:

a) what is the most appropriate configuration of the value of the “environment”, from a constitutional law perspective, once it is made autonomous from the health protection? Starting from Art. 2 Const., the value of the “environment” can be understood from a fundamental right perspective, e.g. the right to a good quality of life, rights of the future generations; by contrast, the health case protection can be analysed in terms of the duties of solidarity, e.g. towards the citizens, the other inhabitants on the earth, the future generations, the ecosystem and the other living beings.

b) What is the legal regime to be referred to the environment and to its many components? In particular, whether it is sufficient to place the environment amongst the public economic assets foreseen by Art. 42 Const. (save for the need to rediscover its authentic meaning, almost overwhelmed by the processes of economization and of privatization) or whether, instead, a new and more appropriate positioning can be envisaged for the environment as to enhance at the same time the right to everyone to its enjoyment and the individual duty to preserve it.

c) According to the Constitution, can the management and the protection of environmental goods be assigned to NGOs and to local communities – as it is already the case for the so-called “collective domains” – or is it preferable to resort to the shared management grounded in a “pact” between the territorial entity and the citizens(Art. 118, last para. Const.), a practice already followed at local level?

The manuscript must comply with the editorial guidelines of the Journal available under the section “Informazioni per i collaboratori” of each issue, must be written in Italian, cannot exceed 80.000 characters (spaces and footnotes included) and shall be submitted to the Editorial Committee by 15 January 2020 by sending the relevant file to Chiara Bologna ( The manuscripts received will be subject to blind peer review by a selection panel composed of members of the Board of Directors and of the Editorial Committee. Besides the publication of the article on the Journal, the winner of the competition will be awarded as a prize a free subscription to the Journal for five years. In addition to the article selected for the prize, other articles can be considered by the panel to deserve publication on the Journal “Quaderni costituzionali”.

The text of the call for articles, in Italian, is available here:


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