PACE rapporteur: Italy must promptly implement Strasbourg Court judgments

A PACE rapporteur has welcomed the ongoing efforts of Italian authorities to implement judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, but also expressed his concern that Italy has the highest number of pending non-implemented judgments out of all the contracting parties to the Convention.

Speaking at the end of a two-day fact-finding visit to Rome, PACE’s rapporteur on implementation of Court judgments, Klaas de Vries (Netherlands, SOC), said: “Despite being an old democracy and one of the founding member states of the Council of Europe, Italy has the highest number of non-implemented judgments of the European Court of Human Rights pending before the Committee of Ministers. I have stressed, to all concerned, that this situation must be dealt with promptly.”

The main problem in Italy is the excessively long time it takes the Italian courts to deal with legal cases. In a May 2013 report, Mr De Vries said this issue had “plagued the Italian justice system for decades, the backlog of cases increasing steadily each year”. He pointed out that at that time the Committee of Ministers – the body which oversees execution of Court judgments – was examining more than 2000 such cases.

Mr De Vries encouraged the Italian authorities to continue their reforms, in particular those aimed at improving the efficiency of justice and ensuring the payment of arrears stemming from the application of the “Pinto law”, which provides compensation for victims of lengthy judicial proceedings.

During his Rome visit (22-23 October 2014), the Rapporteur met Italy’s Deputy Interior Minister, the President of the High Court of Cassation, the Deputy Prosecutor General and high officials in the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also had discussions with fellow parliamentarians, including the heads of the Committees on Justice and on Constitutional Affairs.