Informations and abstract
The Patriciate - a "public law corporation (...) the owner of common property to be conserved and used locally for the good of the community" - in Ticinese public law takes the nature of an autonomous public authority on a par with the Municipality and organized in similar fashion. The author describes how the status of patrician is acquired; the place of the Patriciate in the Ticinese and federal constitutions and the rights of patricians; the role of the Patriciate in managing its property (land, woods and pasturage) in a context in which agriculture has diminished in importance. The author then dwells in particular on the rules regulating the acquisition and transmission of the status of patrician as regards women from 1857 (first granting of patriciate rights to women) to 1997 (introduction of the principle of parity between the sexes in the Patriciate) and the more recent debate on the law in force and its application. The present socio-economic structure of the Canton Ticino requires priority to be given to the protection of the landscape with regard to tourism as well. From this point of view, the Patriciate can still perform a useful function in managing an immense heritage by self-financing itself - without, that is, drawing on the resources of the commune. The author also examines similar provisions in Italian legislation - "collective ownerships" and "mountain organizations" - although these are private law bodies whose goods are subject to the same constraints as apply to state property. Like the latter and similar bodies in the rest of Switzerland, the Patriciate continues to perform a dynamic function of especial importance from an environmental point of view.