This paper addresses the struggle of the Italian justice system during the transition to implement the 1989 Code of Criminal Procedure. The Code was intended to solve some of the major problems of the Italian Courts, such as backlog and length of trials, by adopting special procedures and an adversarial model. Justice system officials assumed that the oral process would accelerate the pace of litigation and, thereby, increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the administration of justice. In retrospect, the assumption was simply wrong. On the contrary, the Italian experience demonstrates how a significant reform in the criminal process and procedure involves not only amending the rules; in addition, it must consider the institutional and organizational contexts, the actors’ capacity to absorb change, and the risk that change may worsen the functioning of the criminal process. The paper also shows how the legal formalism that pervades the Italian justice system saddled the reform with rules that failed in practice to work.
How to Cite:
Fabri, M., 2008. Criminal Procedure and Public Prosecution Reform in Italy: A Flash Back. International Journal for Court Administration, 1(1), pp.3–15. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijca.121