Avvocatura per i diritti LGBT

Avvocatura per i Diritti LGBT (www.retelenford.it) was founded on the 6thDecember 2007 in Florence by three lawyers Saveria Ricci, Antonio Rotelli and Francesco Bilotta and its purpose is to answer the need to inform and disseminate the culture and respect for the rights of homosexual and transexual persons in Italian country. The Association members are lawyers and practitioners included in the relevant professional bodies. Some of them are engaged in research departments Italian and foreign university. Currently members are about 80 lawyers and practitioners distributed about 21 districts. In particular it promotes the formation of a Network of lawyers throughout the country which deal with the legal protection of homosexuals. The network was called Rete Lenford in memory of the barbaric killing of a Jamaican lawyer who fought for the respect of the rights of people with HIV. For Avvocatura per i diritti LGBT’s members, Lenford is an example to propose to all lawyers who have decided to fulfill their social function of support and protection to victims of discrimination, even in the field of protection of the LGBT rights. The Network proposes also training sessions for members and non members. The main objective of Avvocatura per i diritti LGBT is to bring together professionals working throughout the country; so they can exchange information, identify colleagues who can closely follow events taking place at a great distance, to create moments of confrontation and cultural growth. Legal support was provided in cases dealing with foreign nationals entering Italy (a New Zealand case was brought to the Supreme Court) or discriminated on the Italian territory. The main legal action run nation-wide was the affirmative action for the extension of marriage to same-sex couples, still ongoing and with a constitutional procedure pending at the Constitutional Court.  TheAssociation is currently a partner in two European projects and will carry out a study on LGBT discrimination occuring in the South of Italy, including LGBT asylym seekers. The Association consists in:

  • the General Assembly
  • the Excutive Council
  • President
  • the Arbitration Board and probaemulieres
  • the Scientific Committee

Antonio Rotelli is currently the President. In particular in the Association there is a Scientific Committee, chaired by Professor Stefano Rodotà, professor emeritus of Civil Law, University of Rome “La Sapienza”. It includes Prof. Paolo Borsellino, Professor of Philosophy of Law, University of Milan Bicocca and Prof. Vittorio Lingiardi, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Director of the 2nd School Specialization in Clinical Psychology. The Committee is supported by a scientific secretariat comprising:

  • Francesco Bilotta, researcher of Università degli studi di Udine,
  • Silvia Borelli, researcher of Università degli studi di Ferrara,
  • Cesarina Manassero, Università degli studi di Torino,
  • Marica Moscati, Senior teaching assistant della School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London, 
  • Alexander Schuster, Università degli studi di Trento and scientific adviser at the European Academy of Bolzano,
  • Giuseppe Eduardo Polizzi, Università degli studi di Pavia. 

Since its establishment, the Association has organized (or collaborate in) a lot of training events or conferences (in general about sexual orientation, gender identity, same-sex marriage, discriminations) sponsored by public bodies and, in some cases, accredited by Professional Bodies. Currently the Association is working to implement the following activities: . EQUAL-JUS European network for the legal support of LGBT Rights . A study designed to identify, analyze and transfer of good practice on non- discrimination in the specific context of sexual orientation and gender identity (Department of Equal Opportunities) . UNAR – National Bureau against Racial Discrimination, Department of Equal Opportunities, “Diversità come valore” Promotion and technical assistance in favor of a campaign for judicial recognition of the right to marriage for same-sex couples. This campaign was called Civil Affirmation and currently involves more than twenty pairs. In addition to generating, at the national level, an in-depth scientific debate has generated for the first time in Italy an order of remission in the Constitutional Court by the Court of Venice and the Court of Appeal of Trento.


Luca Giacomelli

Luca Giacomelli is a law student in his final year at the University of Florence. Luca Giacomelli is the legal research assistant of Avvocatura per i diritti LGBT - Rete Lenford and his activities in the project include the news collection and selection for website, cataloguing items in the library, contribution to Equal Jus database, provide logistics and travel information for project's events.

Giacomo Viggiani

Born in Bagno a Ripoli (FI) July 19, 1988, in April 2009 he achieved the degree of Bachelor of Moral Philosophy and in July 2010 the degree of Master of Philosophy with highest marks and cum laude at the University of Florence. Since 2008 he is secretary of the Foundation Onlus Guido Franceschini and from 2010 he is the curator of the annual publication. From 1 January 2011 he is PhD in Philosophy of Law at the University of Genoa and he is following a training course in Epistemology at the University of Florence. Within the project Equal-jus, he is Scientific Director of the Lenford Research Centre by March 15, 2011.

Claudio Agostini

Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, November 4, 1981. He has a degree in languages and cooperates with the Equal-Jus project since January 2011. He is the project manager of the Equality and Justice conference.

Justine Quinn

Justine has been in practice as a barrister in Ireland since October 2006. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, the Honorable Society of King’s Inns and the London School of Economics. She has also been called to the Bar of New York as an Attorney-at-Law. Justine lectures in law at NUI Maynooth. She is currently writing her PhD in European Law and Governance at University College Dublin on the topic “Same-Sex Parented Families in European Union Law: A Restriction on the Freedom of Movement of EU Citizens and their Families?” under the supervision of Professor Imelda Maher, Sutherland Professor of European Union Law. Justine is on the board of Directors of Marriage Equality – a single issue NGO campaigning for access to civil marriage for same-sex couples in Ireland. She is one of the founders of the LGBT Lawyers Association of Ireland which, in conjunction with FLAC, provides a LGBT Free Legal Advice Centre for the gay community.

Former Staff

Michele Nisticò 07/01/2010 - 12/31/2010

Michele Nisticò is at present a PhD candidate of Constitutional law at the University of Siena. His doctoral activity reinforces his strong research skills, especially in the field of constitutional and anti-discrimination law. Michele is the junior legal researcher of Avvocatura per i diritti LGBT - Rete Lenford and is in charge of implementing the website and the publications targeting the average EU citizen. His scientific activities in the project further include the monitoring and the implementation of the legal database.



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