Constitutional Court of Italy
The Constitutional Court of Italy is a supreme court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

 of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the other being the Court of Cassation
Court of Cassation (Italy)
The Supreme Court of Cassation is the major court of last resort in Italy. It has its seat in the Rome Hall of Justice.The Court of Cassation exists also to “ensure the observation and the correct interpretation of law” by ensuring the same application of law in the inferior and appeal courts...

. Sometimes the name Consulta is used as a metonym for it, because its sessions are held in Palazzo della Consulta
Palazzo della Consulta
The Palazzo della Consulta is a late Baroque palace in central Rome, Italy, that now houses the Constitutional Court of the Italian Republic...

 in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...


The Constitutional Court is composed of 15 judges: one-third appointed by the President
President of the Italian Republic
The President of the Italian Republic is the head of state of Italy and, as such, is intended to represent national unity and guarantee that Italian politics comply with the Constitution. The president's term of office lasts for seven years....

, one-third elected by Parliament
Parliament of Italy
The Parliament of Italy is the national parliament of Italy. It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members . The Chamber of Deputies, with 630 members is the lower house. The Senate of the Republic is the upper house and has 315 members .Since 2005, a party list electoral law is being...

, and one-third elected by the ordinary and administrative supreme courts. The members then elect the President of the Court, which is currently since 6 June 2011 Alfonso Quaranta, from among its members in a secret ballot, by absolute majority (that is, eight votes in the case of a full court), and if necessary, a run-off election between the two judges with the most votes after the second ballot. One or two Vice-Presidents, appointed by the President of the Court, stand in for the President in the event of his absence for any reason. The constitutional court passes on the constitutionality
Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution. Acts that are not in accordance with the rules laid down in the constitution are deemed to be ultra vires.-See also:*ultra vires*Company law*Constitutional law...

 of laws, and there is no right of appeal on these decisions.

The court is a post-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 innovation. Since 12 October 2007, when reform of the Italian intelligence agencies
Italian intelligence agencies
Italian intelligence agencies have been reorganized many times since the 1946 birth of the Italian Republic in an attempt to increase their effectiveness and bring them more fully under civilian control.- 1970s-2007 :...

 approved in August 2007 came into force, the Court may not be denied access to documents under the pretext of state secret
State Secret
State Secret is a 1950 British drama film directed by Sidney Gilliat and starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jack Hawkins, Glynis Johns and Herbert Lom. It was released in the United States under the title The Great Manhunt.-Cast:...

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