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Italian civil justice: regional disparities


  • Amanda Carmignani

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Silvia Giacomelli

    () (Bank of Italy)


The functioning of the Italian civil justice system is characterized by deep regional disparities: the length of legal proceedings is on average significantly higher in the South than in the rest of Italy. Using mainly a descriptive approach, this paper documents these differences and investigates possible explanations examining the number of proceedings initiated in courts and the human and financial resources assigned to the courts. As regards population distribution, regions in the South are more litigious than those in the Centre and North and therefore receive a higher proportion of public resources. Nevertheless, the endowment of resources in the South is in line with the rest of Italy when measured according to the annual flow of new proceedings whereas it receives fewer resources in relation to the number of proceedings pending. On the basis of the available information, it is not possible to establish whether the greater stock of proceedings pending in the South is due to an inadequate endowment of resources and/or to lower productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Amanda Carmignani & Silvia Giacomelli, 2009. "Italian civil justice: regional disparities," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 40, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_40_09

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    Cited by:

    1. Castro Massimo Finocchiaro & Guccio Calogero, 2015. "Bottlenecks or Inefficiency? An Assessment of First Instance Italian Courts’ Performance," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 317-354, July.
    2. Massimo Finocchiaro Castro & Calogero Guccio, 2014. "Searching for the source of technical inefficiency in Italian judicial districts: an empirical investigation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 369-391, December.

    More about this item


    civil justice; litigation; regional disparities;

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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