RIGHT TO CLAIM FOR ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT VIA FEMALE LINE, WHERE CLAIMANTS MOTHER HAD AUTOMATICALLY LOST HER CITIZENSHIP ON MARRIAGE TO FOREIGN NATIONAL
Corte di Cassazione, judgment of 5 November 2015 n. 22608
An Italian citizen married her Egyptian citizen husband in 1950 and settled in Egypt. She became an Egyptian citizen automatically following her marriage. The Claimant, her son, applied to the Tribunale di Roma in relation to his application for Italian citizenship on the basis of iure sanguinis.
Whether the son of this Italian citizen would have the right to become an Italian citizen by descent, in the light of his mother having married an Egyptian national, given that she was considered by Italian law to have automatically renounced her Italian citizenship on marriage, even though she had not done so voluntarily.
Article 8 of the law dated 13 June 1912 n. 555 provides for the loss of Italian citizenship by a woman following acquisition of a foreign citizenship on marriage, even without making a voluntary decision to do so,
Article 10 (9) of the law dated 13 June 1912 n. 555 stated that a married woman could assume a different citizenship from that of her husband even if there is a personal separation between the spouses. If a foreign woman married an Italian citizen, on the other hand, then she acquired Italian citizenship. Ulitmately it was the man’s citizenship that determined the automatic citizenship of his wife and offspring.
The above articles have since been abrogated as ruled to be unconstitutional, ie contrary to the principle of equality of men and women in the 1948 Italian Constitution.
Article 17 of the law 5 February 1992 n. 91 deals with the process of identifying the status of the son of his Italian citizen mother who in theory was an Eyptian citizen at the point of his birth.
The Court held that in order to lose Italian citizenship, there must be a “spontaneous and voluntary renunciation” made by the citizen. This cannot be said to have taken place where under the terms of the 1912 law it was imposed on a woman that she would automatically acquire the citizenship of her husband. The Court ordered that there be an further investigation into the actual circumstances of her naturalisation.