Italian justice system set for overhaul

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The justice minister has proposed a fast-track system for businesses and families. Judge photo: Shutterstock
10:59 CEST+02:00
Italy's justice minister, Andrea Orlando, on Monday outlined a 12-point plan to overhaul the Italian justice system, including complete digitization of documents and speeding up court cases.

The proposals made by Orlando to parliament on Monday will now be scrutinized in a two-month consultation, the prime minister’s office said.

Promises include halving the backlog of civil cases and offering a fast-track path for businesses and families.

Under the proposals a civil case would take just a year to go through the first of three grades in the Italian system, drastically speeding up the current pace of justice.

A report published last year by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) found a trial in the court of first instance took an average of 564 days in Italy, compared to the average of 240 days by the organization’s member states.

READ MORE: Italy’s 'crazy' judicial system in 'critical state'

Orlando has also proposed revamping the way criminal cases are handled and reforming the statute of limitation, which allows cases to expire before a definitive verdict has been reached.

Wiretapping also made it onto the list as an area to be examined, in light of the right to information and the protection of privacy, although Orlando said last week the use of wiretaps, a key tool for Italian police to capture criminals, would not be restricted.

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READ MORE: 'Wiretaps will not be restricted': Orlando

Efforts to tackle financial crime will also be upped, with new standards set for false accounting, which was decriminalised under former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's government, and money laundering. 

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