Case Law 254/2007 (06/07/2007)
Authority: National Courts: Supreme Courts (Italy) - Corte Costituzionale
Subject: The Court asserts the partial constitutional illegitimacy of the art. 102 of the law on legal costs (D.P.R. 30 May 2002, . 115), where it does not contemplate the possibility, for the foreigner admitted to legal aid who doesn’t know the Italian language, to nominate an interpreter within the legal aid.
The Court underlines how the accused person’s personal and aware participation to the trial, through the right of the foreign accused person, who doesn’t know the Italian language, to nominate an interpreter, is included in the constitutional guarantee of the right to defence and to an effective trial, since the accused person must be able to understand, in a known language, the meaning of the judicial acts and activities, for the right to defence to be concrete and actual (art.24, par. 2 of the Constitution). Then the art. 111 of the Constitution establishes that the law assures that “the accused person must be assisted by an interpreter if it doesn’t understand or speak the language used in the trial”. The Court underlines how such constitutional principles are also contemplated in the ECHR, which includes, among the rights of the accused person, the right to be assisted for free by an interpreter if he doesn’t understand or speak the language used in the trial” (ECHR, art. 6, n.3, lett. e).
Original language: Italian
Classification: Justice - Art. 47 Legal aid