Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Judge Marina Finiti in an Italian courthouse
Following planned judicial reforms, Italian judges will be barred from the judiciary after holding office. Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP.

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.

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Italian PM Draghi cancels Africa trip after positive Covid test

The Italian premier has tested positive for coronavirus but is currently asymptomatic, his office said on Monday.

Italian PM Draghi cancels Africa trip after positive Covid test

Draghi had been due to visit oil-rich Angola and the Republic of Congo this week with a view to switching Italy’s energy supplies away from Russia.

That trip has now been cancelled as a result of the prime minister’s Covid-positive status, his office confirmed. 

Instead, Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio and Minister for Ecological Transition will represent the country in diplomatic talks with the African nations.

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The pair will fly to Luanda on Wednesday and Brazzaville on Thursday to conduct negotiations on Italy’s behalf.