Italy: Berlusconi launches “his” justice reform
11 March 2011
With a large bandage on his face following surgery to his jaw, the head of the Italian government Silvio Berlusconi has, in a “resumption of hostilites”, has presented a reform of the justice system, announces La Stampa. The bill, which notably foresees separating the careers of judges and prosecutors, eliminating the right of prosectors to appeal not-guilty verdicts, allowing aggrieved litigants to bring suits against judges and granting the power to discipline magistrates to an outside body, is being challenged by the vast majority of judges. The judges, according to the Turin daily, believe the reform aims at "undermining the autonomy and independence of the judiciary." For La Stampa, what’s at issue here is the “revenge of the political class against the judiciary." The newspaper also described as "symbolic" the decision to "initiate a major change in the justice system [...] just as Berlusconi is about to face a series of hearings in high-profile trials." The "Rubygate" trial, in which Berlusconi stands accused of prostitution of a minor and abuse of power, should begin on April 6, reports La Stampa.