Well, actually, there can be

But Mr Zan, the MP pushing the bill, said the Vatican’s concerns were unfounded. “The bill does not restrict in any way freedom of expression or religious freedom,” he wrote on Twitter.

“All the concerns and doubts will be listened to, but there cannot be any foreign interference in the workings of a sovereign parliament.”

There’s foreign interference in the workings of a sovereign parliament all the time. You can’t pass laws which breach the European Convention on Human Rights for example. This is a supranational interference in the workings of a sovereign parliament.

True, that parliament did in fact sign up for that interference:

The Vatican argues that the Zan bill violates the Concordat, part of the Lateran Pacts that have since 1929 governed relations Rome and the Holy See.

The proposed law would jeopardise the “liberty” that was guaranteed by the treaty to the Catholic Church in Italy, the diplomatic note said.

And there we have the same thing. That parliament agreed to limit its sovereign powers by signing the Concordat.

Sure, you can reject the concordat, just as you can the ECHR and all that. But perhaps governments and parliaments should hold true to the agreements they’ve already made?

3 thoughts on “Well, actually, there can be”

  1. There’s something wonderfully symmetrical when an organisation dedicated to telling people what they can & cannot do collides with an organisation dedicated to telling people what they can or cannot do. One can only sit back & enjoy the fun.

  2. “Unprecedented” only in that the High Seat of God-Botherers usually does this with a Quiet Word in Private in Italy..

    With their influence waning ever more, they have to speak out nowadays.. Oh deary me…

  3. It certainly is possible to pass laws in contravention of the ECHR and the Human Rights Act 1998 explains how this works in the UK – laws are presumed to be compatible but if a court finds that this is impossible, it issues a declaration of incompatibility and the law still stands.

    My main criticism of the ECHR is that it does not go far enough. For example, article 10 starts off with “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.” which sound very nice. That should work quite well, shouldn’t it? Until we read that it continues by saying: “This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.”. So can this licensing come with conditions? Presumably, since various forms of advertising are banned and content is restricted based on a variety of grounds. But this it gets worse, as 10.2 says “The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.” which dilutes it to uselessness.

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