Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2007)2
concerning the problem of excessive length of judicial proceedings in Italy

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 February 2007,
at the 987th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of former Articles 32 and 54 and present Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”),

Considering the large number of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) and decisions of the Committee of Ministers since the early 1980s finding structural problems underlying the excessive length of civil, criminal and administrative proceedings in Italy;

Recalling the major reforms undertaken in respect of civil and criminal proceedings as well as proceedings before courts of audit which led the Committee to close its examination of these aspect of the problem in the 1990s (see Resolutions DH(1992)26, (1995)82 and (1994)26);

Recalling that given the subsequent, continued influx of new findings of violations the Committee resumed its examination of these proceedings;

Recalling that the Committee decided to keep these cases on its agenda until such time as effective reforms were implemented and the reversal of the national tendency was definitely confirmed (Interim Resolution DH(2000)135);

Taking note of the numerous efforts made by the Italian authorities by the adoption of various general reforms and different specific measures which, nonetheless, have not led to satisfactory results to date.

Recalling that the dysfunction of the working of justice remains and in so doing represents an important danger, not least to the Rule of Law;

Welcoming the establishment in 2001 (Law No. 89) of a domestic remedy to compensate victims and reduce the pressure on the Court, and furthermore acknowledging the efforts of the Court of Cassation to ensure an interpretation in line with the Court’s case-law;

Noting also the constant increase in the amounts paid in compensation by the state in this respect;

Recalling that in these circumstances the Committee, in December 2005, demanded in its last Interim Resolution, ResDH(2005)114, the establishment of a new strategy, relying in particular on a reinforcement of political support, at the highest level, for an interdisciplinary approach to which all the main actors of the judicial system would contribute;

Welcoming the various declarations and speeches made during 2006 by the President of the Republic, the Head of the Government and the Minister of Justice indicating the authorities’ full awareness of the seriousness of the problem and their determination to give it priority;

Welcoming also Parliament’s approval of Law No. 12 of 9 January 2006 assigning competence to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers to co-ordinate the execution of the Court’s judgments and to keep Parliament regularly informed of progress achieved;

Noting that in its most recent report to the Committee of Ministers in November 2006 (CM/Inf/DH(2007)9), the Italian government mentioned a number of proposed legislative reforms to judicial proceedings together with an ambitious project for the computerisation of civil proceedings (processo telematico);

Considering nonetheless that these new measures only address certain aspects of the complex problem of the length of proceedings in Italy, which still needs a complete, in-depth analysis for an overall strategy to be presented;

Noting that in September 2006 a ministerial commission was set up, mandated to submit proposals to reduce the delays in proceedings;

Stressing the importance of organising effective follow-up and co-ordination, at the highest national level, of the action need to ensure the execution of the judgments and decisions concerned and noting in this context the possibilities offered by Law No. 12 of 9 January 2006;

Welcoming the Italian authorities’ expressed intention to co-operate regularly and closely with the Secretariat of the Council of Europe so that the Committee of Ministers may be kept informed of their thinking in relation to the strategy to be implemented and progress achieved;

Recalling in this context the rich comparative experience accumulated, not least in the framework of the supervision of the execution of the Court’s judgments, concerning various means of resolving the problem of excessive length of judicial proceedings;

Convinced that this co-operation and reflection should fully involve the main actors of the Italian judicial system,

URGES the Italian authorities at the highest level to hold to their political commitment to resolving the problem of the excessive length of judicial proceedings;

INVITES the authorities to undertake interdisciplinary action, involving the main judicial actors, co-ordinated at the highest political level, with a view to drawing up a new, effective strategy;

DECIDES to resume consideration of the progress achieved at the latest before 1 November 2008 and asks the Italian authorities and the Secretariat to keep the Committee informed of the progress made in setting up the new national strategy in this respect.



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