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he fourteenth transitory and final disposition of the current Constitution of the Republic of Italy did not intend to abolish noble titles, or even to forbid their use (Noble titles are not recognised. The predicates of those existing prior to 28 October 1922 are applicable as part of the name).

It simply does not recognise them, but the fact of not admitting them implies nothing more than the republican disinterest in the aforementioned titles – which are a private and historic heritage – since the Constituent Assembly could not deprive citizens of a natural right: in short, according to the Constitution, the State does not care whether someone has a noble title, be it old or new, nor does it forbid him to style himself with it or use it in public and private relations, nor does it consider the abuse of noble titles a crime, as the noble title has simply lost the particular protection guaranteed by the law.

The magistracy is therefore the only Authority today which, according to the terms of the fourteenth transitory and final disposition of the Constitution of the Republic, has the task and the power to ascertain the legal existence of a predicate granted prior to 1922 in order to declare their being due as part of the surname: this in so far as regards the protection of the most jealous and delicate rights of the human person, the right to the name.

The Heraldic Court, through its Commissions, examines, ascertains and prepares documentation for the purpose of expressing opinions pro veritate in matters of heraldry, nobility and chivalry, also for the respective jurisdictional ascertainment carried out by the International Court of Arbitration and by the ordinary magistracy,

However, the activity of the Heraldic Court is not revealed only in a premonitory and investigative function for the purposes of legally changing a surname, adding a surname or, as part of a surname, a predicate (this procedure is the competence of the Ministry of the Interior).

In fact, when these accurate researches and verifications have allowed indisputable probative elements to be found, a deed of indemnity may be proposed before a Sovereign House, and, in this particular case, the Heraldic Court exerts all its activity through and examination and a process of nobility for the recognition of the truthfulness of qualifications, titles, coats of arms, predicates, etc.; in fact, the decree of a sovereign claimant to the throne may sometimes be necessary in order to legitimate the right to a noble heritage.

The accurate control of the coat of arms, for example, complies with a further need for guarantee, so that it can stand up to possible opposition by third parties. The reason is that the “own” coat of arms identifies and personifies that particular family which bears a certain surname, whereas the “other” coat of arms is the one that belongs to an aggregation other than one’s own.

We do not believe that the change of the institutional regime can “cancel” history, and not still attach today an undeniable historic importance to titles of nobility and, therefore of chivalry; whatever opinion one may have on the subject, one thing that is certain is that, faced with the phenomenon of the real existence of these ideas and suggestions, the law cannot disregard them but must study and regulate any effects and friction that may arise therefrom.

So, if a wise portion of modern society maintains the just respect for noble traditions and appreciates their high dignity, also the remaining part – which shows disregard and even scorn for the old forms of life – is not completely immune from the allure of the title and the prestige it brings.

This is the reason why our learned researchers apply themselves to the drafting of the above-mentioned conscientious and confirmed genealogical, historic, noble and chivalrous reports, or even just curricular reports, which demonstrate and confirm the right of the parties to what they claim, since, even today, by judicial ascertainment, it is still possible to have the noble and/or chivalrous status declared with a sentence of first instance pronounced by the International Court of Arbitration, approved by the presiding judge of an ordinary court, resulting in the recognition of the claimant’s noble status, which is then published in the Official Gazette of the Region.

This milestone is an indisputable truth, doing justice to those who are entitled by law to a noble and/or chivalrous title, but also and above all to both old and new nobility.

Heraldic Tribunal