A threatened censure by the Council of Europe against the notorious inefficiency of the Italian judicial system has been postponed because the Italian government failed to promptly supply a report on the problem.
Ignoring the obvious irony, the council's Committee of the Ministers has delayed until June a "thorough examination" of measures required to speed up Italian justice.
The committee, which is not part of the EU, claimed that "structural problems" in Italian justice were so severe that they caused "many violations of the European Convention on Humans Rights (ECHR)".
European ministers had anticipated an annual report and action plan from Italy at a meeting last week, but this was not available. They want to examine whether recent reforms providing litigants with rights to fight excessive slowness in deliberations have proved effective.
The council cannot fine member states, but it can impose significant political pressure because its rules are written into popular international treaties, such as the ECHR.