Giorgia Meloni and Justice Minister Carlo Nordio in Rome in September 2023.
Image: picture alliance

Italy's justice system is slow and the people distrust it. Will the government's plans to introduce psychological tests for law graduates help?

In recent polls, less than a third of Italians express confidence in the judiciary. In the 1990s, prosecutors and judges were still held in high regard: as heroic frontline fighters defending democracy against corrupt politicians and unscrupulous mafiosi, who were often in cahoots. Nine out of ten Italians expressed great trust in the judiciary at the time. In 2010 it was still two thirds.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

The surveys cite the length of court proceedings as the most important reason for the continued decline in trust in the judiciary, followed by the political activism of many prosecutors. In Italy, criminal trials take an average of five years until a third-instance verdict is reached, while civil trials take a good seven years. Those who had a lot of money and good lawyers in Italy often managed to avoid punishment because the offenses in question were statute-barred until the end of the trial. On the other hand, trials against public figures that are intended to be grand spectacles often come to nothing because they are fueled by the personal ambition of the prosecutors but are not supported by solid evidence.