LEGAL AID: UNREASONABLE TO EXCLUDE THE NON-EU CITIZEN UNABLE TO SUBMIT THE CONSULAR CERTIFICATION. A DECLARATION IN LIEU WILL SUFFICE
It is unreasonable, and contrary to the effectiveness of the right of defense, that the citizen of a country outside the European Union is not entitled to legal aid only because it is impossible to produce the certification of the consular authority required for income produced abroad.
This is what the Constitutional Court has affirmed with sentence no. 157, declaring illegitimate article 79, paragraph 2, of Presidential Decree no. 115 of 2002, in the part in which it does not allow the citizen of countries not belonging to the European Union to demonstrate that they have done everything possible, on the basis of fairness and diligence, to present the required documentation, and therefore to produce a declaration in lieu of such documentation.
The Court's intervention stems from a procedure in which two citizens of Indian nationality had appealed against the refusal of a residence permit for seasonal work. The two applicants were denied the benefit of legal aid because the Indian Embassy and Consulate in Italy had not responded to their request to certify the lack of income abroad.
With the sentence deposited on July 20, the Constitutional Court has standardized, from the point of view of the certification of income produced abroad, the regulations on legal aid in civil, administrative, accounting and tax trials to what is required by the principle of self-responsibility and what is already provided for the criminal trial, since there is no reason to differentiate them.
Prof. Avv. Paolo Iafrate
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