Something is rotten in the state of Italy

An investigation into the judiciary system of Perugia has revealed that officials can manipulate the appointments of important judicial positions according to their own interest.

Ingrid Colanicchia
Ingrid Colanicchia MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
Something is rotten in the state of Italy - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

The scandal, if confirmed, will prove that something is very seriously rotten in Itay. The crisis could discredit judiciary officials in the eyes of citizens.

For this reason, many are starting to ask for structural reforms -- in addition to the resignation of all those involved -- starting with a radical reform of the election to the Superior Council of the Magistracy, a constitutional body which is tasked with guaranteeing the autonomy and independence of the ordinary judiciary.

Because, as writes Paolo Flores D'Arcais, director of the MicroMega magazine: "a judiciary that is autonomous and worthy of its name, morally unassailable, subject only to the law, that is to say to the Constitution of the republic and its values, is the most precious democratic good -- the 'power of the powerless'".

Details from the story:

  • The Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM, a constitutional body whose task is to guarantee the autonomy and independence of the ordinary judiciary) has been at the center of a storm for weeks.
  • The scandal, which started with an investigation for corruption around Luca Palamara, a powerful former president of the National Magistrates Association (a representative body that brings together Italian magistrates) and a former member of the CSM, revealed some mechanisms within the judiciary, in particularly around the way in which appointments and disciplinary sanctions are decided.
  • Notably, there were clandestine meetings in which Palamara allegedly discussed the appointments of the heads of the prosecutors of the entire peninsula with other magistrates, and especially with Cosimo Maria Ferri, head of the current independent Magistracy for decades and now a member of the Democratic Party (Undersecretary of Justice in the governments of Letta, Renzi, Gentiloni), and with Luca Lotti, member of the Democratic Party and Matteo Renzi's right hand man.
  • The Superior Council is presided by the President of the Republic, who is by right a member, like the First President of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Attorney General at the same Court. The other 24 members are elected, 2/3 by all the magistrates and 1/3 by a Parliament meeting in joint session.
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