Italian civil justice: regional disparities
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.
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