Jure Sanguinis – Lawsuit in Court (1948 case)

We provide legal assistance to individuals who want to obtain Italian citizenship by descent (jure sanguinis / blood right), including assistance with cases of 1948 Court actions. Contact us for an initial assessment to check your eligibility.

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Italian Citizenship by Descent
(Jure Sanguinis)

Italian citizenship (cittadinanza italiana) is based upon the principle of jure sanguinis (blood right), meaning the child born of an Italian father or mother is also an Italian citizen. People whose ancestors were Italian may be able to acquire citizenship, depending on a number of factors such as the date and place of birth of their parents, grandparents, and even of their great-grandparents.

However, if you or your Italian ancestors were born to a mother of Italian origin before January 1, 1948, the process may not be so straightforward.

The 1948 Case: Can you obtain Italian citizenship?

Under the 1912 Citizenship law, only men were able to transfer their Italian lineage to children, while women could hold but not pass citizenship to their descendants.

The principles of gender equality were laid down only on January 1, 1948, when the Italian Constitution entered into force. Unfortunately, the new legislation was not retroactive and so children born to an Italian mother before 1948 are not automatically Italian.

If you think this is discriminating between women and men, don’t worry, the Italian Supreme Court agrees with you. In 2009, it established that it is unconstitutional to discriminate between women and men even in citizenship matters (judgment no. 4466/2009). All descendants born anytime from an Italian parent, father or mother, are Italian citizens by birthright.

The legal proceeding at the Italian Court in Rome

Unfortunately, this judgment did not have any consequences on the Consular behavior and if you fall into the “1948 cases” and submit a request of recognition of Italian citizenship Jure Sanguinis, Consulates will strictly apply the Italian nationality law and will reject your application. Consequently, you can only proceed through a legal proceeding at the Italian Court in Rome.

The lawsuit must be filed before the Civil Court of Rome and the counterpart of the lawsuit will be the Italian Ministry of Interior. In any case, the Italian government is not representing itself in Court anymore. Even if there is no guarantee of winning, the number of positive decisions is high, provided that the transmission of the lineage is demonstrated.

The timeline is quite long, unfortunately, as with most all Italian citizenship applications. Proceedings should be made at an initial hearing to present the case and one or two additional hearings to acquire a decision. Within two or three years from the initial application, you should be declared Italian.

Our Assistance for Lawsuit in Court (1948 case)

We provide advice and legal assistance for foreigners who may be entitled and would like to obtain Italian citizenship, including filing Court action against the rule that prevents the transmission of Italian citizenship by women before 1948. Our service starts with an initial assessment to check your eligibility for Italian citizenship. Once we confirm you are eligible, we can assist you with document procurement, translation, and legalization of necessary documents for citizenship applications.

You can apply from wherever you want. You do not need to come to Italy, we will represent you in front of the Court and will follow all the bureaucratic matters after the Judge’s decision, including registering your citizenship with the Italian town hall of your ancestor.

Moreover, it is possible and advisable to make family applications. You can include several family members, who share the same Italian lineage and Italian ancestor. We can offer special reductions for any additional applicants and minors can be included for free.

Our service includes:
  • Legal advice on citizenship compliance
  • Advise of documents to submit and drafting documents
  • Preparation and submission of citizenship application
  • Court action for applicants born to an Italian mother before 1948
Extra Services:
  • Document translation and Attestation
  • Legalization and Apostille
  • Residency registration with Town-hall & ID card application
  • National Health Service registration

Frequently Asked Questions

1948 Rule process & timeframe

The lawsuit may take 2-3 years. It usually consists of 2-3 court hearings, in which the Judge reviews the application and will then make a decision.
The Mazzeschi Citizenship Department has vast experience in lawsuits at the Court of Rome, which may be the only available route in case of descendant from a female mother before 1948.
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