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Press release

Citizens and civil-justice

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In 2015, about 5 million 500 thousand persons (11.0% of persons aged 18 and over) were involved in a civil proceeding at least once. More in detail, 12.9% of men and 9.3% of women; 12.9% in the North-East area, 9.2% in the South and 8.6% in the Islands; 12.3% in large municipalities, 9.6% in municipalities with at the most 2 thousands of inhabitants.

Only 27.8% of citizens who were experiencing a civil proceeding were aware of costs. Both at Justice of the Peace and at Tribunals the awareness was approximately 28.0%, whereas it decreased significantly at Court of Appeals (25.0%) and at the Supreme Court of Cassation (7.9%).

17.2% of persons involved in a civil suit during their life stated the dispute ended in five years; 40.0% between two and five years; 19.1% one year after the beginning; 23.8% in the same year of the beginning.

52.0% were not satisfied or not enough satisfied with the civil justice, and the dissatisfaction was more accentuated among men (57.0%; women 46.8%).

People who have been waiting for five years or more were deeply dissatisfied (67.3%), as well as those who had sustained unexpected high costs (70.0%). Dissatisfaction increased if the judgement was unfavorable (84.0%)

On the one hand, the length of proceedings (68.6%), bureaucracy (57.7%) and not reliable hearings’ timetables were perceived as the main problems (31.0%); on the other hand, the relationship with judges was highlighted as another critical factor: three persons out of ten believed judges should pay more attention and guarantee impartiality (21.7%).

Over the past three years 1 million 555 thousand persons have not begun a civil suit, mainly because of a cost-benefit evaluation (30.8%), because of uncertain length (25.6%) or uncertain outcome (15.5%).

Furthermore, only 41.9% knows that ADRs (Alternative Dispute Resolution) are an alternative to resolving disputes before a court: 41.9% were aware of arbitration and 43.9% of mediation and only 3.6% used them at least once (3.6%).

For information
Luciana Quattrociocchi
ph. +39 06 4673.7377

Daria Squillante
ph. +39 06 4673.7247

Reference period: Year 2015

Date of Issue: 26 September 2016