Govt's justice reform survives confidence tests

Issue had caused tension within Draghi's coalition

(ANSA) - ROME, AUG 3 - The government's reform of Italy's criminal justice system survived two confidence votes in the Lower House on Monday.
    The reform aimed at speeding up the system caused considerable tension within Premier Mario Draghi's coalition before a compromise was reached at a cabinet meeting last week.
    The reform, drafted by Justice Minister Marta Cartabia, sets limits on the time it can take to rule on first appeals and on cases at the supreme court.
    It effectively waters down a reform passed by Alfonso Bonafede, a 5-Star Movement (M5S) lawmaker who was the justice minister in ex-premier Giuseppe Conte's two coalition governments from June 2018 until the start of this year.
    Bonafede's reform puts the statue of limitations on hold after the first-instance ruling in order to stop criminals getting off because their cases get timed out due to the slowness of the legal system.
    The judiciary's self-governing body, the CSM, said a huge number of cases would end up being shelved if the Cartabia reform had been is approved in its original form.
    The M5S demanded changes to the reform to stop this happening, which led to a compromise in which crimes regarding the mafia, terrorism, sexual violence and criminal association are handled under a different regime.
    Speeding up Italy's notoriously slow judicial system is necessary, among other things, because the granting of EU COVID Recovery Plan funds is conditional upon it.
    In an interview in Monday's edition of La Stampa, M5S leader Conte had promised that the movement's lawmakers would be united in voting in favour in the confidence votes.
    The bill is set to be approved by the House with a final vote later on Tuesday. (ANSA).


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