The European Commission’s annual justice scoreboard places Italy’s justice system among the slowest in Europe. It takes over 1,300 days for decisions at third-instance courts.
Italy’s justice system remains among the slowest in the EU, according to the European Commission’s annual justice scoreboard.
The report says it takes an average of 400 days to settle civil, commercial and administrative cases at the first-instance level. Furthermore, Italy was last in the EU for decisions at the third-instance courts, which take over 1,300 days.
However, this may be due to Italy having one of the lowest number of judges per 100,000 inhabitants at 11.6, compared to 41.7 for Slovakia.
Low score for perceived independence of justice system
Not only is Italy slow in resolving judicial issues, the general public perceive it as far from independent. In the Eurobarometer study of perceived independence of the national justice systems among the general public, it came fifth-bottom. Italy was behind only Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
The primary reason for the score is perceived Interference or pressure from government and politicians.
Italy plans justice system reforms
The cabinet of Premier Mario Draghi’s government is due to examine a reform of the criminal justice system today (8th July). However, there are reportedly differences between the parties supporting the government over changes to the statute of limitations.
That reform aims to speed up the exceptionally slow justice system following years of strictures from the EU.
The right-wing League party and the Radical party have tabled a referendum seeking to curb the power of Italy’s powerful, politicised judiciary.
Measures proposed include the civil liability of magistrates and the separation of career paths between prosecutors and judges.