• Italy's news in English

Rats paralyze Italian justice system

The Local · 11 Nov 2014, 12:20

Published: 11 Nov 2014 12:20 GMT+01:00

The rats have made their home in the pipes of Piazzale Clodio, breaking the air conditioning, heating system and rendering the water undrinkable.

As a result the court is winding down its work schedule for at least 30 days, while the vermin visitors are exterminated, Il Messaggero reported on Tuesday.

“It’s necessary to reduce the number of court sessions to the minimum, above all the cases which involve a lot of people,” Luciano Panzani, president of the court, said in a note circulated to staff.

A “massive rat extermination job” will be carried out, Panzani said, reassuring employees that neither they nor the public were in danger.

The rat infestation was first discovered on November 6th, when the air conditioning stopped working in the court’s offices on Via Romeo Romei. The same buildings host a number of judges’ offices, courtrooms and a coffee bar, Il Messaggero said.

Story continues below…

The decision to reduce the number of court hearings adds a further hurdle to those seeking justice through the notoriously slow Italian legal system.

In Italy it take an average of 2,866 days to go through the three tiers of justice, compared to the OECD average of 616 days. Appeals in Italy take 1,113 days on average, whereas the process takes 43 days in Portugal and 179 days across the OECD nations.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy 'held naval manoeuvres with Iran' in strategic strait
The Strait of Hormuz. File photo: AFP

The Italian ambassador called the port call "a positive sign".

Northern Italian region approves 'anti-mosque' laws
One of Italy's few purpose-built mosques, in Rome. File photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Similar laws in other regions have been scrapped for being anti-constitutional.

Former nuns to get civil union in northern Italy
The former nuns have asked for anonymity; this photo is representative only. Photo: Pexels

The nuns fell in love during a mission, and will get their civil union on Thursday.

Earthquake volunteer dies on way home from Amatrice
Amatrice was the town most severely damaged by the earthquake. Photo: AFP

The engineer had cut short his summer holiday to assist with the post-earthquake recovery.

Italy tests 3,500 children for TB after doctor diagnosed
The doctor had carried out vaccinations on thousands of small children. File photo: Pexels

The hospital stressed the tests were a "precautionary and preventative measure".

Ancient Roman coins unearthed at Japanese castle
The 4th-century copper coin found in Japan. Photo: Jiji Press/AFP

How the coins got there is a mystery.

Italy slashes growth figures ahead of crucial referendum
Matteo Renzi at a press conference last month. Photo: AFP

Italy's economy has barely grown since 1999 - hitting working and middle class voters hardest. Economists say Italy will struggle to hit even the "prudent" revised targets.

Italy professor: Students should plagiarize - teachers do
One of the university buildings. Photo: Maris Firsova

A professor at Italy's oldest university says teachers are granted "impunity" in case of plagiarism.

Pope cars auctioned off to help Syrian refugees
The cars have personalized number plates. Photo: AFP

Got a spare €9,000?

Renzi revives plan for a 'bridge to Sicily'
Renzi said the bridge would "bring Sicily closer". Photo: Sarah Murray/Flickr

The bridge was first dreamed up in the 1960's, but no prime minister has succeeded in bringing it to fruition.

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
jobs available