Keywords: Right to Choose One's Defence Lawyer; Roman Rota; Fundamental Principles of the Italian Legal System.
This contribution analyses an interpellation to the Italian Parliament, severely criticizing the way the Roman Rota has applied a provision, approved by Pope Francis, which has extended the court appointment of defence lawyers to all cases it hears. The limitation of the faculty to choose one's defence lawyer is alleged to be liable to breach the right of defence, and to produce negative effects on the concordatarian system which recognises civil effects to ecclesiastical courts' judgments. The contribution aims at summarising Italy's normative framework concerning the obvious conceptual difference between the right of defence and the right to choose one's defence lawyer: the limitation to the latter have sometimes been justified by the Constitutional Court according to a parameter of reasonableness. The Concordat's provisions, the Court of Cassation's orientation on the verification - at the time of enforcement deliberation - of the respect for the right to defence in the canonical trial, and the peculiarities of the legal profession in the Canon Law system raise doubts about the correctness of the interpretation provided for by the concerned interpellation.