"Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. Our government does not copy our neighbors', but is an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while there exists equal justice to all and alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty an obstacle, but a man may benefit his country whatever the obscurity of his condition."

Pericles, Funeral oration, 431 BC.

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11 Jun 2013
Useful Information

The ethical code for Italian lawyers

Nicola Canestrini

The ethical code regulates the relationship between an attorney and his client, and the relationship between attorneys and the judge.

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19 Apr 2013
Useful Information

International protection in Italy: asylum, humanitarian assistance

Avv. Nicola Canestrini

The international protection seeker is a person who has applied for international protection and is awaiting the decision of recognition of refugee status or another form of protection.

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26 Mar 2012
Useful Information

Italian attorney at law

Nicola Canestrini

Italian lawyers ("avvocati") have gained the necessary qualification in Italy, which requires completion of an undergraduate law degree (Laurea in Scienze Giuridiche, three years), a graduate law degree (Laurea Specialistica in Giurisprudenza, a two...

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26 Mar 2012
Useful Information

Italian criminal trial

Nicola Canestrini

The Italian legal system is that of a civil law State, governed by codified law. The Italian Code of Criminal Procedure contains the rules governing criminal procedure in every court in Italy.

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26 Mar 2012
Useful Information

Principles of Italian criminal law

Nicola Canestrini

“No one can be punished if not in compliance with a law that was in force before the act was committed”

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23 Dec 2011
Useful Information

The Italian Public Prosecutor

Michele Caianiello

The Italian prosecutor embodies a peculiar combination of official duties and actual practices: he is formally a member of the judiciary independent of the political branches; he is charged with...

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11 Jan 2011

European Prison Rules COE Rec(2006)2

Council of Europe

All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for their human rights: prison conditions that infringe prisoners’ human rights are not justified by lack of resources.

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1 Dec 2010
Useful Information

Effective Criminal Defence in Europe: Italy

Ed Capa et alia

Every year, millions of people across Europe – innocent and guilty – are arrested and detained by the police.

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10 Jun 2010

Torture to save human life (ECHR Gäfgen v. Germany, 2010)

European Court of Human Rights

Torture, inhuman or degrading treatment cannot be inflicted even in circumstances where the life of an individual is at risk and being absolute, there can be no weighing of other...

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Recent publications

Interpol: a weapon against Human Rights defenders?

Established 1956 in Vienna, the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION - INTERPOL enables police in around 190 member countries to work together "to fight international crime": more in detail, its aim is to facilitate international police cooperation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries [1].

Extradition from Italy

In general, extradition is the process whereby one nation or state (the requested state) surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state (the requesting state); hereinafter, for the purposes of this introduction to the extradition rules from Italy, only the the extradition* from Italy to a foreign country* will be considered.

Client - Attorney confidentiality in Italy: core value of democracy or just window dressing ?

Confidentiality is recognised as essential for the proper administration of justice, access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as required under the European Convention of Human Rights, inter alia, in the CCBE Charter of Core Principles of the European legal profession of 2006 (principle 6), in the Code of conduct for european lawyers of 1988 (sub 2.3), in the Recommendation Rec(2000)21 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the freedom of exercise of the profession of lawyer of 2000 (principle I.6), European Parliament resolution on the legal professions and the general interest in the functioning of legal systems of 2006 (whereas E and H), and in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers of 1990 (principle 8 and 22).

Criminal records in Italy

There are essentially 6 main kinds of records in Italy:

Treatment of classified information before the ECJ

In the post 9/11 context of global terrorism and global counter-terrorism, the question of secrecy, usually grounded in national security-related concerns, has become one of the most interesting legal issues.In the wake of an increasingly transnational terrorism phenomenon, the balancing of security, secrecy and fundamental procedural rights represents an increasing challenge for both the Executive and the judicial authorities.