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Abstract

The European Court of Human Rights revisited the issue of legal recognition for same-sex partnerships on July 21, 2015 when it decided Oliari and Others v. Italy. This Note explores the implications of that decision and what it may mean for same-sex couples within Italy and throughout the Council of Europe. Through a careful analysis of the decision, this Note concludes that Oliari provides slight yet important movement on the issue of a Contracting State’s obligation to afford legal recognition for same-sex partnerships, but a practical implementation of the Court’s holding likely will yield little additional movement in more conservative Contracting States, as the factors utilized to find a violation on the part of Italy remain highly unique to the Italian experience, rendering any perception of a victory as merely psychological in nature.