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Maria Elena Gennusa

The chapter analyses the role played by the Equality Bodies (NEBs) established within the member states of the European Union in order to comply with the Directive 2000/43/EC and its offspring. After illustrating the variety of the national transpositions of a very vague European model, the author focuses on the tasks carried out by NEBs, particularly highlighting their unique position between the European and national legal orders. As a consequence, NEBs have the potential for performing a double and really crucial role, being capable of both implementing EU anti-discrimination law at national level better, and improving understanding of discrimination-related issues at European level. Unfortunately, however, the analysis carried out in the chapter reveals that, at least if we consider the overall European landscape, NEBs cannot yet deploy such strong potential in practice in many member states, due to legislative, political and financial constraints. Some initiatives have already been undertaken at national and European level to increase NEBs funding and resources, improve their accessibility, extend their competences and measure their effectiveness, but they are still very much at early stages. The conclusion of the author is that only if Europe is prepared to intensify their effort towards a full implementation of such initiatives, NEBs may really become key actors in the fights against discrimination in the future.

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Maria Elena Gennusa

Judgment No 238/2014 of the Italian Constitutional Court held that the customary international law on State immunity, insofar as it covers war crimes and crimes against humanity, has not entered the domestic legal order, and therefore has no effect therein. It also declares unconstitutional Article 1 of Law No 848/1957 and Article 3 of Law No 5/2013, which aimed to ensure the compliance of Italy with the decisions of the International Court of Justice. In its judgment, the CC asserts its aspiration to ‘contribute to a desirable—and desired by many—evolution of international law itself’. By analysing the legal reasoning of the CC, this paper infers the real purpose behind Judgment No 238/2014 and evaluates the appropriateness of the approach used to reach its objectives.