This almost qualifies as a ‘Monday smiles‘ post, but sadly for Italians or anyone involved with or affected by the Italian legal system, it isn’t a joke.
Here are a few quotes from a Reuters news feed a few days ago. There is a link to the full article at the end of this post if you want to find out more. The bold emphasis is mine.
‘The U.S Supreme Court reviews around 100 appeals per year. The number for Italy’s top appeals court, serving a population a fifth the size? More than 80,000.
Italy has 40,000 lawyers specializing in supreme court cases. According to Valerio Spigarelli, head of Italy’s top criminal lawyers body, the number in neighboring France, with a similar population, is 25. They are among 240,000 lawyers in Italy, compared to 54,000 in the country next door.
Statistics like this give a glimpse into a chaotic, byzantine legal system which not only reduces citizens to despair and has senior judges tearing out their hair…’
‘U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts could not believe how many cases were brought before Italy’s supreme Court of Cassation each year, said Michele Vietti, vice president of Italy’s top magistrates body the CSM, describing a recent visit to Washington. “He thought he hadn’t understood the translation properly,” Vietti told Reuters.’
‘It is insane. For a one euro bus ticket we have three trials.’
‘”The Cassation is submerged by so many cases that it cannot even ascertain contradictions within the system,” said Davigo, who is now a supreme court judge. He added there was no law of precedent because the judges could not read all the cases.’
‘Paola Severino, one of Italy’s top lawyers, told parliament last November shortly after becoming justice minister: “It would be mistaken, given the limited duration of this government, to put legal reform at the center of our program. It would be beyond our strength and possibilities.” You can hardly blame her.’
Reuters News and Insight ‘Overloaded justice system ties Italy in knots‘.