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House definitively approves Nordio justice reform bill

House definitively approves Nordio justice reform bill

Offence of abuse of office scrapped, wiretapping overhauled

ROME, 10 July 2024, 13:37

ANSA English Desk



The Lower House on Wednesday definitively approved a bill drafted by Justice Minister Carlo Nordio to reform Italy's criminal justice system with 199 votes in favour, 102 votes against and no abstentions.
    The measure, which among other things contains the repeal of the crime of abuse of office and changes to the wiretapping system, had already been approved by the Senate in February.
    Nordio has said Italy's mayors, even opposition ones, will "toast" the scrapping of the abuse of office felony, which has led to countless case, many of them frivolous or merely technical prosecutions, which eventually ended in acquittals over recent years.
    He said the new law would enable an "organic" reform of wiretapping to make sure sensitive information with no relevance to cases was no longer leaked to the embarrassment of people who were not charged with any crime.
    Nordio also said a solution would be found for mothers in prison after the rightwing League party filed an amendment, which was approved, aimed at stopping pregnant or young mother Roma bag snatchers on Rome and Milan metro systems.
    In a separate, Constitutional bill, Nordio is aiming to separate the career paths of judges and prosecutors so that they can no longer switch roles over the course of their careers.
    Opposition parties and magistrates union ANM say the measure aims at bringing prosecutors under government control.
    Nordio and Premier Giorgia Meloni have denied that this is their intention.
    They have said that the independence and autonomy of the Italian judiciary will continue to be paramount.
    Nordio recently hailed his reform of the judiciary's career paths, which stops prosecutors and judges from switching between roles, as a "historic measure" after it was approved by cabinet and again dismissed assertions that it was an attempt to increase the government's power over prosecutors.
    "The judiciary is an autonomous (professional) order, independent of any other power, and it is composed of the magistrates on the judging career path and those on the prosecuting career path," Nordio said of his Constitutional reform bill, which will probably end up being put to a popular referendum.
    "We have given Constitutional importance to the fact that a prosecutor's office is, must be, and will remain, independent of any interference by the executive power, and of any pressure from other bodies.
    "It enjoys, and will continue to enjoy, the same guarantees of independence as a judging magistrate".


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