From the immunity of the ancients to the immunity of the moderns

Immunity has traditionally held, in the legal field, a strictly negative connotation since it alludes to all acts, institutions or individuals not subject to the law. This is why this quality has been traditionally attributed to the (political) power and, therefore, placed under suspicion in the rule of law. It has been, in short, a typical characteristic of the legibus solutus sovereign. However, with the advent of the Constitutional State, there are no longer immune powers, since they are all subject to the law. This being so, immunity neither has to do with the political power nor it can mean exemption from the law in modern legal systems. On the contrary, it should belong to the constitutional system itself: it must be immune in the sense of protected against contemporary attacks from powers seeking to subvert it. If the immunity of the ancients is the immunity of power, the immunity of moderns is the immunity of the Constitution as the Supreme Norm of the legal order.