United Nations, Human Rights Committee - Mario Staderini and Michele De Lucia v. Italy
In July 2015, the clinic submitted a communication (complaint) before the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee accusing Italy of violating the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs, specifically art. 25(a) and (b) of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The communication is filed on behalf of two Italian politicians, Mr. Mario Staderini and Mr. Michele de Lucia, who were, at the time, the secretary and the treasurer of the Italian Radicals. In 2013, the Italian Radicals launched a campaign to collect 500,000 signatures, as required by the Italian Constitution, to put on the ballot six referenda, but failed to reach the quorum due to actions and inaction of authorities at all levels of government in Italy.
Although the Italian Constitution grants a right to any citizen to put referenda on the ballot, the exercise of the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs though referenda is arbitrary and unnecessarily burdensome. While most Art. 25 communications considered by the Human Rights Committee concern the right of individuals and parties to participate in elections, the communication is one of the few focused on the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs directly, through referenda and popular initiatives.