Italy slammed for protracted court system

ITALY has been criticised at the Council of Europe for failing to push through judicial reforms necessary to speed up its often tortuously slow court procedures.

The Council, which is independent of the EU, considers Italy in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights because of the inefficiency of its civil proceedings. It says a special body established to clear up years-old civil cases was failing to finish them “within its fixed deadlines”.

Furthermore, despite the announcement in 2000 of reforms to boost efficiency, some are “still pending for adoption and/or effective implementation”.

Cases are taking longer to complete “with the increase in both the average length of the proceedings and the backlog of pending cases”. The Council has called on Italy to “deploy new, significant efforts”, especially regarding “the internal organisation of tribunals”. It also said Italy should ensure that no future cases lasted so long that they broke the convention’s rules on judicial proceedings’ durations.