Carmela Germinario

Civil trial timeframe: quality of justice and its sub-national differential distribution

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Italian Civil Justice; Performance Indicators; Trial Timeframe; Judge's Caseload; Organizational Capacities.

Trials' timeframe reasonable delays in the court systems have become critical issues for the most part of the European MSs. Judicial proceedings efficiency and effectiveness are, unquestionably, essential to ensure the effective enforcement of fundamental rights. Moreover, and even more critically from the economic point of view, the competitiveness of domestic systems is intimately related to the reputation court systems end up to gain as their capacity to be transparent, predictable, efficient and effective. If assessed against all these criteria, Italy seems to be in a very critical and paradoxical position, featuring high levels of formal guarantees of judicial independence intertwined with low rates of performance and unevenly developed managerial judicial capacities. Having these considerations on the background, this work engages into an empirical analysis of the Italian case, focusing on sub-national jurisdictional units. It takes seriously into consideration the differential trends featured by the Italian ordinary courts in the management of the proceedings. The main finding is that caseload and number of judges serving into the courthouse are good predictors of the timeframe. Finally, a new indicator of judicial performance is elaborated, in order to achieve a more significant comparison among the courts, by correlating the duration of trials to the number of handled cases per judge.

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