Subnational constitutions in Italy

Italy is generally described as a quintessential example of a regional state with some room for asymmetry. Regional statuti have not played so important a role in defining the constitutional ambitions of the single subnational units. Their chief function is to lay down the general rules concerning the form of government, and their recognition among the public is quite low. In some political and academic circles, the statuti were expected to play a greater role in the aftermath of the federalizing reforms of 1999 and 2001 and to become more similar to regional constitutions. However, subsequent political practice and case law of the Constitutional Court have all but refuted these expectations. Yet, slightly different arguments apply to the statuti of the five regions with a special autonomy status.