“Careers separation: the train is leaving”

Separated careers’ for judges and State attorneys: 50 thousand people supporting the petition so far.

“What I would like to say to the National Association of Magistrates, is that this is not a battle against the magistrates, but for the magistrates. Control on the magistrates’ conduct shall be made by a judging authority that is different from a State’s attorney”. The synthesis of criminal lawyers’ crusade on the diversification of magistrates’ roles is mandated to UCPI’s President, Beniamino Migliucci. The campaign started few months ago is going ahead at full throttle, and with important results. More than 50 thousand people subscribed the petition. This popular legislative initiative launched by Criminal Attorneys Union on magistrates’ careers separation is involving a huge number of citizens caring about its outcome. Nevertheless, the path is not free of hurdles. In fact, courts sometimes obstruct the collection of signatures and, furthermore, many lawyers are not logistically used to carry on such battles.

Migliucci during a press conference talked about the current status of the petition, endorsed by the Transnational Radical Party. “We live in a country where trial deferrals are made periodically, and trials suffer huge delays. Furthermore, in front of a monocratic inexperienced judge, a State attorney may prevail”. The solution, according to the Union, is simple: two different paths for State attorneys’ and judges’ careers.

“The sole remedy our Constitution provides – says Migliucci – is that the judge is theoretically more powerful than a State attorney”. As a matter of fact, the unreasonable delay of Italian trial is often caused by the lack of confidence citizens have toward judges.

A lack of confidence that is reflected by the thousands of appeal trials, as a consequence of the lack of confidence of citizens in being judged fairly and objectively. Summarizing, “Who writes sentences shall not fear the State Attorney and shall not be judged by a Superior Council that includes State attorneys within its members”.

Together with the Union and their representatives, the initiative is supported as well by Andrea Mascherin on behalf of the Italian National Bar Association, according to which “we support the Unions in the structural construction of a necessary reform”.

52 thousand subscriptions are an important result, but it is important not to stop now. In the next four months other steps have to be walked. But at the meantime, there has been a positive response, mostly coming from the small bar associations who enthusiastically welcomed the petition (for example, Nola and Tivoli bar associations).

And just when official numbers of the petition are revealed (numbers showing Sicily as the most involved Region), President of the Court of Cassation Giovanni Canzio allows signatures to be collected inside the Court of Cassation. “No one talked about signatures collection, it was an uncomfortable topic. But now – as stressed by the Vice President of the promoting committee Anna Chiusano – it is not like that anymore”. According to her, now it is important to deal with the substantial contents of the reform. But, sooner or later, this will be lawmakers’ duty. “We are doing, and we will keep on doing our best, but it is necessary to have a political feedback as well” says Migliucci. Being an inconvenient topic for many magistrates, as the committee underlines, many political parties stopped carrying on with potential law proposals.

Now the Union refuses any manipulation of the initiative. “It is a matter of civilization”, says Giuseppe Belcastro, attorney, member of the promoting committee. Unscheduled intervention delivered by Enrico Costa, minister of Regional Affairs: “The risk to forsake individual safeguards in favour of speedy trials”.