38 Dublin U. L.J. 265 (2015)
Constitutional Conventions and the Economic Crisis: The Italian Paradigm

handle is hein.journals/dubulj38 and id is 289 raw text is: 










    Constitutional Conventions and the Economic
                  Crisis:   The   Italian  Paradigm


                            Lorenzo  Cuocolo*





Abstract-This article investigates the relationship between constitutional conventions
and economic factors. After an explanation of the main doctrines and theories about
conventions and customs, and their different meanings in the comparative arena, the
attention is focused on the role that constitutional'practices,'conventions'and'customs'
have in shaping the Italian form of government. The central part of the paper focuses on
the relationship between constitutional customs and the economic crisis and, particu-
larly, on the role that the new great crisis has played in changing customs related to the
design of the form of government, with particular reference to the Italian case.


                              1  Introduction
Constitutional conventions and other provisions that complement,  integrate
and  implement  a Constitution are a broad subject, which has long been  of
interest to constitutional law scholars. In this article I will focus on the relation-
ship between  constitutional conventions and the recent economic   crisis, to
demonstrate  how  the events of recent years may mark a major innovation in
the dynamics usually studied in the field.
   In section 2 I will offer a concise reconstruction of the concepts being dis-
cussed, highlighting the main differences between legal systems governed by
a master-text Constitution and those systems without a written Constitution.
   In section 3 I will focus on legal systems governed by a master-text Constitution
and specifically on the Italian case, which presents a particular point of interest in
relation to recent years'events. In particular, I will then analyse practices, conven-
tions and customs that relate to the constitutional form of government.
   In section 4 I will demonstrate the manner in which the constitutional dynam-
ics of government formation traditionally studied (which are, of course, strongly
influenced by constitutional conventions and customs) have faltered during last
years'financial and economic crisis and amounted, in Italy, to an institutional crisis.
   In section 5, finally, I will demonstrate how customs  and  other provi-
sions 'implementing' the  constitution (and, in particular, the formation of
governments)  have been strongly affected by actors unrelated to government


*  Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. Presented at the Symposium on Conventional
   Constitutionalism, November 2014, School of LawTrinity College Dublin.

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