“If on the formal level the judiciary is independent from political power, as Minister Cartabia says, on the substantial level the independence is not adequate. The reason is known and unanimously denounced: currentism”. This is why the reform of the CSM would be needed and it would be needed “as soon as possible.” Judge Giuliano Castiglia, representative of the Article 101 group on the board of the Anm, is convinced of this, commenting on the words of the Minister of Justice Marta Cartabia, who in recent days had emphasized that “our judiciary has a strong independence from political power” adding that “despite this, in our country the problem of guaranteeing the independence of the single judge has arisen even within the judiciary itself”.
“I refer – says Castiglia in an interview with Adnkronos – to the fact that between the organized groups within the judiciary and politics there are channels of connection through which the protagonists influence each other. It is obvious – he explains – that we must distinguish: politics is a very noble activity, no one wants to demonize it, it is a beautiful art, let’s call it that, even if, as we well know, there is no lack of degeneration. The problem arises when cultural influence is transformed into the management of power, in the most disparate fields and, in particular, in the participation in the distribution of offices according to the logic of belonging.
The causes of this degeneration with very serious effects, at present, have not yet been addressed and, much less, removed. After all, this can only be the reason why we are witnessing repeated appeals, even at the highest level, for the launch of adequate reforms “.
For years, it has been asking for a draw in the selection procedure for self-government members
Castiglia is among the magistrates who for many years have been pushing for a reform that will include the draw in the procedure for selecting the members of the CSM. And just yesterday, Minister Cartabia announced that the reform of the Superior Council of the Judiciary is “imminent”. “Am I optimistic? More than anything else – says Castile – I am hopeful that something good will be proposed, something that is really suitable for eradicating the causes of the problem we are facing. The last words of the minister strengthen my hope, then we will see that it will happen”.
“We are convinced that the reform of the CSM is useful – says Castiglia in the interview – and that it must be done as soon as possible; then, it is clear that the judgment will depend on its content. At the moment, I value very positively what the minister said on the need to strengthen the independence of individual magistrates, distinguishing it from the independence of the judiciary as an order. It is an absolutely shareable affirmation and indicative of profound awareness. The need for independence of individual magistrates also with respect to what moves and operates within the the judiciary, in fact, is a fundamental fact on which the movement of magistrates that today is consolidating under the name of Article 101 has always insisted. Naturally we read this reference very positively. Then, I repeat myself, it is obvious that we will have to see how indications and wishes will be translated concretely. We do not have the crystal ball to say it, we are waiting for the text “.
But what does Article 101 expect from this reform? “Well, it seems to me that the minister’s words imply the need to limit the power of groups, disrupt the system generated by the current account drift with all the negative influences that it exerts on individual magistrates. At the initial password ‘let’s decorrentize the judiciary “, the new motion was added” let us make individual magistrates truly independent. “The two aspects are together and the second is the result of a positive study of the first. I therefore expect a proposal that goes in this direction. And I am confident in this sense because, together with the colleagues with whom we were listened to by the minister, we found an attentive interlocutor, who listened to us and prompted us with precise observations and questions, indicative of a profound knowledge of the problem “.
‘It is necessary to take away from the currents the power to indicate the candidates in the self-government elections’
“For our part, we have pointed out that in order to ‘decorrentize’ self-government it is necessary to remove the power to indicate candidates in the CSM elections. Because, whatever the electoral system, which has already changed repeatedly over time, the indication of candidates on the part of the currents coincides, in fact, with the choice of components by the currents themselves. As long as the currents can choose the candidates, the CSM will remain substantially monopolized by them “.
“In other words, the problem to be addressed in order to solve the problem is not how to elect the members of the CSM: whether with the proportional or with the majority, with the uninominal or plurinominal, with the single or multiple preference. The central node – underlines Judge Castile – is to establish how to identify the candidates. The alternative, even quite simple, is whether to leave to the currents the power to select the candidates and, with it, the monopoly of the CSM, or take it away from them; current magistrates’ or having ‘simple magistrates’ as candidates “.
Returning to the relationship between the judiciary and politics, Castiglia observes that “the management and distribution of offices to magistrates for internal membership in the judiciary and, mainly, for current membership, is the cornerstone on which the possibility of influences and conditioning external to the judiciary is grafted. If current membership is an important if not decisive factor, it is natural that all those who participate in the system of management and entrusting of tasks to magistrates, even outside the judiciary, will assert their own characteristic criteria of affinity, proximity, of belonging. And not infrequently from the outside one has the strength or ends up having the strength to demand and obtain the most important slices of the cake “.
‘If you want a useful contribution from the various possible interlocutors, you need time’
“In short, the internal vulnus of impartiality in the entrusting of tasks to magistrates is the factor that more than any other facilitates and allows external conditioning. the judiciary and the magistrates – continues judge Giuliano Castiglia – This is how and why the adequate formal independence of the judiciary from any other power does not correspond to that adequate substantial independence of which the rule of law has a vital requirement “.
And on the minister Cartabia? “We have seen, as I said, that not only is the problem very much felt but that it has gained a deep awareness, conditions that can certainly facilitate the identification of adequate solutions”. Speaking of the timing of the reform of the CSM, Castiglia says: “If you want a useful contribution from the various possible interlocutors, you need to give them an adequate time to become aware of the proposals, evaluate them, develop a position. Only in this way will it be possible, eventually, to express more or less critical opinions, more or less positive, providing proactive contributions in terms of adjustments or even just pronouncing rejections or promotions “. For Judge Castiglia, however, “such an important reform, which aims to tackle this very serious problem, would require adequate weighting and the possibility of comparison even after the ministerial proposal. Parliament, above all, should have the time to be able to ponder it. in depth”.
And, in this regard, he strongly warns the risk that this possibility does not exist: “The issue is among the most delicate that exist in the overall institutional balance outlined by the Republican Constitution and, also considering that we are facing a delegation law, in which after the parliamentary passage it will be the Government that will concretely dictate the new legislation, and that other different, very important and non-postponable appointments are on the agenda, the risk that, in order to arrive at the launch of the reform in time for the next elections of the CSM , the lack of the necessary adequate weighting by the Parliament is concrete and worrying “.
Article 101 had a great success in the Anm elections in Palermo
Speaking of elections, the local elections of the ANM were held in Palermo in recent days. And Article 101 was a great success: “In addition to the remarkable personal achievement of colleagues, the most evident and politically relevant data is that Article 101 is the most voted list,” says Castiglia. “What if I expected it? I obviously didn’t know in what terms but I expected a good result. The positive surprise is that an excellent result has come. The fact that Article 101, with the ideas that underlie the movement, had the relative majority is a signal that the magistrates of the Palermo District give to everyone, to other magistrates, to associations of magistrates, inside and outside the judiciary, and therefore also to politics “.
As for the next steps, Castiglia says that “by the end of the year, the renewal of offices within the Palermo executive council, which will elect its president, should be provided”.
Then, Castiglia underlines: “I believe that today, as evidenced by the electoral outcome of Palermo, the ideas that Article 101 promotes among the magistrates have a much broader consensus than the electoral result of the List in the last elections of the Cdc of the Anm and that on this all can rely on. The magistrates have a very negative view of what has emerged in recent years on the management of self-government and the serious consequences this has caused, also in terms of the credibility of the judiciary and jurisdiction; and, above all, they have not only the will but also the interest in turning the page “. “The magistrates are the first to be damaged by what has happened and they want the conditions to be created to eradicate the causes. This vote is, from this point of view, a clear signal, clarification, also on effective solutions to the objective by all in words desired “.