JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Italy judges question law allowing Berlusconi to postpone trials
Ximena Marinero at 8:26 AM ET

[JURIST] Milan judges presiding over the tax fraud trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] suspended the trial Monday while consulting [ASCA report, in Italian] with a Constitutional Court [official website] on the legitimacy of a new law that Berlusconi has invoked to postpone criminal proceedings against him for 18 months. The case is the second to be suspended this month, with the corruption trial postponed [AFP report] last Friday. The law in question was passed [JURIST report] in March and allows cabinet officials to postpone criminal proceedings against them for up to 18 months if the charges constitute a "legitimate impediment" to performing public duties. The judges are questioning [ANSA report, in Italian] whether the new law violates the Italian Constitution [text] because it improperly creates a new faculty for cabinet members through a law rather than by constitutional amendment, and because it alters the equality of citizens under the law. Berlusconi maintains that the proceedings are politically motivated.

Earlier this month, Italian prosecutors sought to indict [JURIST report] Berlusconi on additional fraud and embezzlement charges [JURIST report] involving his media company Mediatrade, despite a new law granting the executive temporary immunity. In January, hundreds of Italy's judges walked out of their courtrooms to protest the passage of a law that placed strict time limits [JURIST reports] on the trial and appeals process. The law was criticized for being tailored for Berlusconi's benefit.

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 UN rights chief calls for end to 'impunity' after Israel attack on UN school
7:04 PM ET, August 1

 Federal court rules Microsoft must disclose overseas customer data
12:44 PM ET, August 1

 UN official: violations of religious freedom persist in Vietnam
10:51 AM ET, August 1

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org