skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220584 Find in a Library
Title: Empowering of the Italian Judiciary: The Shift Towards Activism
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2007  Pages:101-118
Author(s): Marinella Marmo
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 18
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses how the interpretation and application of the mandates of the European Union as well as the process of interpreting and applying national law has evolved into Italian judges becoming policy-shapers and policy-makers in innovative ways.
Abstract: Although judges must base all of their decisions on laws that have been initiated and composed by legislators, they are charged with interpreting how various laws apply to the circumstances and actions in each case that comes before them. In this process, senior Italian judges have extensive powers to shape laws and policies. Judges have been creative in the selection of legal sources and in the application of legal rules by considering societal value prominent in the circumstances of particular cases. Italian judges can set aside a norm that they deem contrary to a more recent law, including a European law. In the case of the Constitutional Court, which is the highest authority in the Italian domestic hierarchical court system, a law can be assessed in context and be determined to violate the rules and principles of the Italian Constitution, effectively annulling the law. In addition, lower courts have been promoting particular interpretations of various laws, which are eventually confirmed or refuted by the Constitutional Court. The judiciary can thus shape the application of law to reflect societal change. This process in Italy is occurring in a scenario that is perhaps unique to Italy. Senior judges and members of the Constitutional Court have found themselves in the position of annulling national laws inconsistent with the European Union as well as those that violate the Italian Constitution. This review power has had extensive consequences in providing uniform interpretation to legal provisions of mixed origin. 49 references
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): European Union; Italy; Judicial discretion; Judicial review
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.