The main duty of the Constitutional Court is to ensure the respect of the rigidity of the Constitution through a differentiated series of attributions that are indicated in art. n° 134 of the Constitution and in art. n° 2 of the constitutional law n° 1 of 1953.
The number of components assigned by art. n° 135 of the Constitution is 15, 5 of which are deliberated by the Parliament in an ordinary session, 5 from the President and 5 by the Supreme Ordinary and Administrative Bench (Cassation Court, State Council and Audit Court).
The discipline of the nomination procedure is found in law n° 87 of 1953 and in art. n° 2 of the constitutional law n° 1 of 1967.
The President of the Constitutional Court is chosen from the Court itself between its own members and the assignment is three years long. The President of the Constitutional Court has many duties inside for what the course of the works of the Court is concerned, and represents the Court itself outside.
The judges assignment is about nine years long.
In case of application of the Court’s penal competence, the Bench is integrated by other 16 judges randomly picked by a special list decided by the parliament in an ordinary session.
The Constitutional Court has a great autonomy that is particularly expressed in the power to adopt regulations that discipline its internal organisation and the exercise of its constitutional attributions.
The most important of these attributions is to control the constitutional legitimisation of the laws and of those acts that have the validity of State or regional law in order to verify that the regulations contained in these documents do not present formal or substantial mistakes.
This control is undertaken considering the dispositions of the constitutional ranking but also the dispositions of the other sources to which the Constitution guarantees a special protection (though this category is not comprehensive of the parliamentary regulations).
The Constitutional Court, complying with the interpretation of the Court of Justice of the European union, does not have anymore the power to control the respect of the communitary regulations of the Italian laws that is instead done by the judges.
The judges must instead address themselves to the Court when they think that a law that has to be applied during a trial is unconstitutional (accidental way), and also the Government of the Republic in order to prevent the promulgation of regional laws estimated as unconstitutional and vice-versa the Regional Committees within 60 days from the publication on the Official Gazette when they think that these laws concern the sphere of their legislative competence (main way). Also the minorities can address themselves to the Court.
The Constitutional Court can decide in the sense of illegitimacy of the denounced regulation (accepted sentences) or reject the constitutionality doubts (rejected sentences).
Only when the illegitimacy is declared, the sentence has an erga omnes effect and determines the retroactive cancellation of the unconstitutional law, maintaining the no more revocable juridical effects.
The action of the Court is often carried out also with sentences that, even maintaining the legislative text intact, have proposed or even imposed to attribute or eliminate from the provision the possibility of a precise unconstitutional application.
Another important function of the Constitutional Court is given from the resolution of the attribution conflicts between the State and the Regions or between the powers of the State. It is essentially a mean to safeguard or maintain intact the spheres of competence that the Court itself attributes to the different Boards and to the different organs that contribute to the exercise of the public power.
The Constitutional Court is also called to evaluate the admissibility of the requests to the abrogative referendums.
This means that it verifies if the laws of which the abrogation is requested can be abridged through a referendum as it is foreseen in the art. n. 75 of the Constitution or if the requests are structurally adeguated to allow a free and aware abrogation, and without damaging other formal or substantial constitutional values.
Finally the Constitutional Court judged the President of the Republic in the cases in which the Parliament in ordinary session decides to process him for of high treason and attempt to the Constitution.