The Constitutional Court, with its ruling no. 254 filed on 26 November 2020, declared inadmissible the constitutional legitimacy issues raised by the Naples Court of Appeal on the Jobs Act provisions concerning collective redundancies which violated the selection criteria. the Board considered the judge’s reasoning on the relevance insufficient and any request for corrective action uncertain.

Facts of the case

The Court of Appeal of Naples challenged constitutional legitimacy in relation to art. 1, paragraph  7 of Law 10 December 2014, no.; 183 and articles 1,3 and 10 of Italian Legislative Decree 4 March 2015 no. 23.

According to the Neapolitan Court, the contested provisions unreasonably introduced a differentiated sanctioning system for violation of the selection criteria within the collective dismissal procedure. Reinstatement protection was granted just for employment relationships established on 7 March 2015, while only indemnity protection was granted for later relationships.

According to the judges’ objections, this sanctioning system, was a violation of the principles laid down in articles 3, 4, 24, 35, 38, 41, 111, 10 and 117, paragraph 1, of the Constitution, and conflicted with principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, better known as the Nice Charter.

Regarding the infringement of the rules of the Nice Charter, a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union was brought simultaneously as an issue of consistency with constitutional principles.

On 4 June 2020, the Strasbourg Court declared the action manifestly inadmissible, finding no connection between the national legislation, i.e. the selection criteria within collective redundancies and an act of Union law. It did not comment on the alleged infringement of the Nice Charter.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling

The Constitutional Court, in the ruling under analysis, declared the question of constitutional legitimacy inadmissible. This is because the Court of Appeal failed to (i) describe the case and provide information on the reasons for the unlawfulness of the collective dismissal of the case for selection criteria violation – and (ii) attach the elements that would support the appeal acceptance based on a selection criteria violation. This prevented the Court from assessing the relevance of the issues raised.

The Constitutional Court merely reiterated its agreement with the indications of the Court of Justice regarding the EU law scope of application. It stated that there is an inseparable link between the role of the Court of Justice, which is called upon to safeguard “respect for the law in the interpretation and application of the Treaties” and the role of national courts, which must ensure “effective judicial protection in areas governed by EU law.”

In the Board’s view, in an integrated system of safeguards, loyal and constructive cooperation between the various jurisdictions, each called upon to safeguard fundamental rights in a systemic and unbroken protection manner, plays a crucial role.

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