Constitution of the Republic of Italy (1947, amended 2012) (extracts)




Section I: The Organisation of the Judiciary


Art 101

Justice is administered in the name of the people.

Judges are subject only to the law.

Art 102

Judicial proceedings are exercised by ordinary magistrates empowered and regulated by the provisions concerning the Judiciary.

Extraordinary or special judges may not be established. Only specialised sections for specific matters within the ordinary judicial bodies may be established, and these sections may include the participation of qualified citizens who are not members of the Judiciary.

The law regulates the cases and forms of the direct participation of the people in the administration of justice.

Art 103

The Council of State and the other bodies of judicial administration have jurisdiction over the protection of legitimate rights before the public administration and, in particular matters laid out by law, also of subjective rights.

The Court of Accounts has jurisdiction in matters of public accounts and in other matters laid out by law.

Military tribunals in times of war have the jurisdiction established by law. In times of peace they have jurisdiction only for military crimes committed by members of the armed forces.

Art 104

The Judiciary is a branch that is autonomous and independent of all other powers.

The High Council of the Judiciary is presided over by the President of the Republic.

The first president and the general prosecutor of the Court of Cassation are members by right.

Two thirds of the members are elected by all the ordinary judges belonging to the various categories, and one third are elected by Parliament in joint session from among university professors of law and lawyers with fifteen years of practice.

The Council elects a vice-president from among those members designated by Parliament.

Elected members of the Council remain in office for four years and cannot be immediately re-elected.

They may not, while in office, be registered in professional rolls, nor serve in Parliament or on a Regional Council.

Art 105

The High Council of the Judiciary, in accordance with the regulations of the Judiciary, has jurisdiction for employment, assignments and transfers, promotions and disciplinary measures of judges.

Art 106

Judges are appointed through competitive examinations.

The law on the regulations of the Judiciary allows the appointment, also by election, of honorary judges for all the functions performed by single judges.

Following a proposal by the High Council of the Judiciary, university professors of law and lawyers with fifteen years of practice and registered in the special professional rolls for the higher courts may be appointed for their outstanding merits as Cassation councillors.

Art 107

Judges may not be removed from office; they may not be dismissed or suspended from office or assigned to other courts or functions unless by a decision of the High Council of the Judiciary, taken either for the reasons and with the guarantees of defence established by the provisions concerning the organisation of Judiciary or with the consent of the judges themselves.

The Minister of Justice has the power to originate disciplinary action.

Judges are distinguished only by their different functions.

The state prosecutor enjoys the guarantees established in the prosecutor's favour by the provisions concerning the organisation of the Judiciary.

Art 108

The provisions concerning the organisation of the Judiciary and the judges are laid out by law.

The law ensures the independence of judges of special courts, of state prosecutors of those courts, and of other persons participating in the administration of justice.

Art 109

The legal authorities have direct use of the judicial police.

Art 110

Without prejudice to the authority of the High Council of the Judiciary, the Minister of Justice has responsibility for the organisation and functioning of those services involved with justice.