Monday, 13 October 2008

Carnevale (no, not that one)

Only yesterday, Italy's minister of justice 'Choochieface' Alfano was talking about rejuvenating the judiciary. Now it appears there are plans to pass one of those ad personam laws for which Italy is becoming sadly famous (or would be if the country had any international standing left). This time, it's an article which removes the age limit for supreme court judges, currently set at 75. And who's the persona for whom this is being done? None other than Corrado Carnevale, a man who earned himself the nickname 'sentence-killer' after annulling a series of mafia convictions on the basis of formal legal quibbles. If the law passes, Carnevale looks set to become the head of Italy's supreme court. He's 80 now and he'll be 83 when he steps down, so he'll be be able to do a fair amount of damage to a legal system that's already under seige from the executive. He's already been saved from prosecution for being associated with the Mafia by another little law passed some years ago (yes, when Berlusconi was last in power), a law that not only granted him full pension rights, but allowed him - to the hooror of most of his colleagues - to be reinstated as a judge. As usual, the question is: Cui bono?

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