The 1948 rule concerns the paths that guarantee Italian citizenship by blood (jure sanguinis) to those who have female ancestors.
The 1912 Citizenship Act (that regulated the passage of citizenship from one generation to the next) stated that only men could transfer Italian citizenship to their children, not women.
So until January 1st, 1948 (the date on which the Italian Constitution was adopted establishing the gender parity in terms of transmission of Italian citizenship) the women could not pass citizenship to their children.
This rule in 1912 Citizenship Act has been perceived as discriminatory, but unfortunately the 1948 Rule is still part of the current Italian legislation.
Therefore, as children born to an Italian mother before 1948 do not entitle as jure sanguinis because the bloodline is considered interrupted, then the application for citizenship through the administrative path (to Italian Consulate or Municipality Hall in Italy) submitted by applicant with relatives or ascendants affected by the 1948 Rule, will be rejected of course as well.
Despite the law, the Italian Court of Cassation established that the 1948 Rule is contrary to the principles of equality, as outlined in the Constitution. Therefore, those who are disqualified by 1948 Rule can apply for a court order to obtain Italian citizenship.
As such, a Court lawsuit is the only way to by pass the 1912 Citizenship Act.
Note that the more and more challenges to the law are increasing also the cases of qualification, thanks to the legal judgments obtained. Some of these judgments were achieved through my legal support to applicants.
You can inquire ItalianPapers about your case of citizenship by maternal line to investigate if there is some new chance to be entitled. To learn more on such new cases you can read our in-depth paper ‘1948 case Italian citizenship: updates‘.
Avv. Paola Caputi