Rome

Berlusconi's party considering no confidence in justice min'

Pdl senate whip says severino's stint 'disastrous'

Berlusconi's party considering no confidence in justice min'

(ANSA) - Rome, August 14 - Maurizio Gasparri, the Senate whip for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, on Tuesday said the party was considering joining a no-confidence motion in Justice Minister Paola Severino. Gasparri described Severino's stint at the ministry as "disastrous" and called on her to speed up reform of the Italian justice system, suggesting the PdL could join the Northern League in petitioning in parliament for her to be removed from her post. Such a move would threaten to create a rift between Premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat government and a party it relies on for support in parliament. Gasparri criticized Italy's overflowing jails and the fact no decision has been made for greater regulation of the authorization of wiretapping of phones by magistrates. In addition, he criticized recent attempts to prevent a new law that would force judges to answer in civil courts for errors they make during the course of their duties. Since being appointed in November last year, Severino has been trying to push through legal reform measures that include additional anti-corruption laws; the introduction of specialist business tribunals; the curtailing of the length of court cases; the capping of appeals; and limiting the backlog of 5.5 million civil cases currently clogging Italian tribunals. It takes 1,210 days, or more than 3 years, for an Italian court case to end, compared with 394 days in Germany, according to World Bank data. Average legal costs for Italian companies total almost a third of the value of the legal dispute, compared with 17 percent in France, and The European Court of Human Rights ruled against Italy some 53 times for violating the right to a fair trial in 2010.

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