Keywords: Parliamentary Autonomy; Principle of Non-Interference of the Judiciary on Parliamentary Functions; Autonomy in Judging Work Relations with Employees; Balancing Parliamentary Prerogatives and Protection of Individuals' Rights.
The essay tackles the notion of parliamentary autonomy in the light of the case-law of the Italian Constitutional Court, focusing on the decisions concerning those principles safeguarding the Chambers' autonomy that are openly acknowledged in the Constitution (e.g. power of self-rulemaking, control over the elections and disqualification of their members) and those implicitly recognized by it (financial autonomy and autonomy on judging work relations with employees). The common feature of these different declinations of parliamentary autonomy seems to be the principle of non-interference of the judiciary in the exercise of the functions of the Chambers. The essay delves into the consequences of this general framework, that requires to balance the point of view of the Chambers with the fundamental rights involved. By considering those decisions in which the autonomy of the Chambers is considered in relation to the autonomy of other constitutional bodies, the analysis shows that the court fundamentally followed a case-by-case approach, varying according to the substantive matter to be adjudicated. No systematic elements can be derived from this jurisprudence in order to identify a common foundation of the autonomy of constitutional bodies.