Policy brief on the implications of the Berlusconi trial publishes

21 April 2011

Following the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's announcement last week that there was a war in progress between the executive and the judiciary, the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society today publish a policy brief examining the implications of Berlusconi's ongoing trial for Italy and Europe as a whole. Political Scientist Carlo Guarnieri argues that the current proceedings form part of a state of permanent conflict between courts and politics in Italy since the 'Clean Hands' investigations of the 1990s.

The policy brief shows how the wide powers afforded public prosecutors and the high rate of prosecutions of politicians in Italy has embroiled the judiciary in political controversies and has the effect of calling into question their impartiality, a fact clearly encouraged by Berlusconi and his supporters.

In conclusion, the policy brief assesses the Italian situation in the context of increasing judicial and prosectorial independence across Europe, and suggests lessons to be drawn in terms of the need for political accountability and judicial impartiality. 

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Berlusconi on Trial: Some Lessons for Judicial Accountability