The origins of law no 241/1990 and foreign models
This article argues, first, that law No 241/1990 has its source in a shift of perspective occurring in Italy with regard to the regulation of administrative activities, and, second, that the strengthened protection of procedural rights is not only coherent with the interpretation of Article 97 of the Constitution, but also with European Union law. From the first point of view, although the Italian Constitution laid down in 1947 the principles of impartiality and sound administration, it was not until the 1980s that our legal culture accepted the idea of a general legislation on administrative activities. In the last twenty years, however, the protection of procedural rights has been gradually strengthened and such rights are now included within the standards that are established by State laws. From the second point of view, procedural safeguards are coherent with the principles laid down by the European Union as well as with those of the ECHR, although national standards of protection are more restrictive and must, therefore, be adjusted.