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12 May 1974

Accade Oggi

tardi. Nel 2017 il numero di divorzi concessi in Italia ammontarono a 91 629. [5]

The one for the abrogation of the divorce law was the first popular referendum held in Italy.

On May 12, 1974, Italian citizens went to the polls to decide whether they wanted to repeal the Fortuna-Baslini law [1], which 4 years earlier had introduced the possibility of the dissolution of marriage contracted under the Civil Code. [2]

Since the first debates in Parliament for the approval of the law, the opposition led by the Democrazia Cristiana party, Movimento Sociale Italiano and the monarchists advanced strong controversies and criticisms. The protests went so far that, on their proposal, the anti-divorcees advanced the request for an abrogative referendum. One million and three hundred thousand signatures were filed with the Court of Cassation, which was followed by the passing of the check at the Central Office for the referendum and the positive judgment of admissibility of the Constitutional Court.

The one in 1974 was the first abrogative referendum because, although the provisions of the Constitutions already allowed this instrument of direct democracy, the Italian legislator disciplined the matter with a substantial delay. In fact, the law n. 352 [3] regulating the Referendum and the people's legislative initiative was promulgated only in 1970.

The results of the referendum saw the highest turnout ever recorded: as many as 87.7% of those entitled to vote went to the polls, recording a no win of 59.3%, over the yes of 40.7%, thus allowing the law on divorce to remain in force.

The divorce law was changed three times over the years. According to the National Statistics Institute [4], the trend of divorces and separations is constantly growing, as is the tendency to get married later in life. In 2017 the number of divorces granted in Italy amounted to 91629. [5]

[1] LEGGE 1 dicembre 1970, n. 898, Disciplina dei casi di scioglimento del matrimonio, https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/1970/12/03/070U0898/sg;
[2] https://www.camera.it/leg17/537?shadow_mostra=23937
[3] https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/atto/serie_generale/caricaDettaglioAtto/originario?atto.dataPubblicazioneGazzetta=1970-06-15&atto.codiceRedazionale=070U0352&elenco30giorni=false
[4] https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/matrimoni+separazioni+e+divorzi?page=1
[5] http://dati.istat.it/Index.aspx?QueryId=27958

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  • L'Autore

    Giulia Geneletti

    Laureata con lode in Scienze Politiche presso l'Università degli Studi di Milano, curiosa, intraprendente e sempre motivata da nuove avventure ed esperienze. Ha svolto diverse esperienze lavorative, formative e di volontariato in Italia e all'estero. Si interessa di politiche pubbliche, relazioni internazionali, comunicazione politica, affari europei e di consulenza.
    Giulia è entrata nella community di Mondo Internazionale nel Giugno 2019 ed ha da allora ricoperto diversi ruoli sia di redazione che di direzione. Ad oggi è Direttore di Mondo Internazionale HUB, all'interno del quale ha dato vita al progetto di MIPP, l'Incubatore di Politiche Pubbliche di Mondo Internazionale.


    Graduated with honors in Political Science from the University of Milan, curious, proactive and always motivated by new adventures and experiences. She has had several work, training and volunteer experiences in Italy and abroad. She is interested in public policy, international relations, political communication, European affairs and consultancy.
    Giulia joined the Mondo Internazionale community in June 2019 and has since held various editorial and management roles. To date she is Director of Mondo Internazionale HUB, within which she gave life to the project of MIPP, the Public Policy Incubator of Mondo Internazionale.

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