On 20 June 2023, the Italian Constitutional Court held that, while the legislator must regulate vaccines and pandemic measures, technical tasks can be delegated to the administration or technical bodies under the law's supervision.

The questions raised by the Tribunale di Padova before the Italian Constitutional Court concern the scope of the provision requiring that vaccination mandate is only provided by law. In particular, whether the determination of the time span between recovery from COVID-19 and the duty to vaccinate for healthcare professionals belongs to the legislator or should be determined by technical bodies under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

The Constitutional Court reiterated the principle that the right to health under Article 32 of the Constitution requires the legislator to regulate the vaccines and the measures to contrast pandemic but that scientific and technical tasks, like that concerning the time definition between recovery and vaccination, may be exercised by the administration directly, or indirectly through the advice of technical bodies.

Hence the Court concluded that it is for the administrative court to evaluate whether the power conferred by the legislation to the administration and in particular to the technical bodies was exercised in conformity or in violation of the law.

Reference: judgment 171/2023 / ECLI:IT:COST:2023:171.

Full text of the decision available at it