The ANM in government: “We do not intend to negotiate on justice reform”


By John

A climate of frankness and no intention on the part of the officials to associate the discussion with a sort of union negotiation. The meeting in Rome in the rooms of the building in via Arenula between the National Association of Magistrates and the Minister of Justice Carlo Nordio does not shorten the distances between the robes and the Keeper of the Seals on the justice reform announced by the government. The measure will be presented in the next few weeks and provides for the separation of the careers of magistrates (judges and prosecutors) with two CSMs. Speaking immediately after the meeting which lasted about an hour was the president of the ANM, Giuseppe Santalucia, who was accompanied by a delegation: «Nordio gave us a little detail on the lines of the reform with the various options on the table and was keen to point out to us that the constitutional reform will maintain the independence of the judiciary in its entirety». The minister will illustrate in detail the measures and the various options on the table – therefore also those aspects that remain within the realm of hypotheses and discussions within the government – at the ANM congress next Saturday in Palermo, at which in the last few hours he gave his membership. First, next Thursday and Friday, the Keeper of the Seals will preside over the G7 on Justice in Venice. «We thought that he wouldn't be able to come to our conference in Palermo, but then he changed plans, so he will be there: we thanked him for this», added Santalucia. The ANM had requested the meeting in Nordio for a discussion on constitutional reform.

«I was happy to overturn all the plans I had to obtain this space – Nordio specified – We know that there are differences of views, but we know that there is a coincidence of interests, which is to make justice work and above all to assure everyone that the independence of the judiciary, both judging and prosecuting, is a non-negotiable value.” Words that the minister had uttered shortly before in Naples – after shaking his hand – also to the head of the prosecutor's office Nicola Gratteri, who had strongly criticized the reform project in the last few hours. The first face-to-face meeting was sincere and relaxed, after weeks of distant sparks also on issues such as the institution of psycho-aptitude tests in competitions for access to the judiciary. «We, in a climate of frankness that characterized the meeting, said that the entire associated judiciary is against the reform. There is no problem of finding accommodation solutions, for us it is not a question of doing a trade union negotiation, there are cultural and constitutional disagreements”, explains the number one of the ANM adding that the topic “enrichs a public debate, it is not a trade union discussion table. There is no middle ground solution to be found.”

However, some disagreements still re-emerge on the topic of corruption, also in light of the arrest of the Ligurian governor Giovanni Toti. Prompted by journalists' questions, and despite not intervening on the Genoa investigation, Santalucia specifies: «With this constitutional structure we have been able to deal with very serious criminal phenomena, from terrorism to the corruption of Mani Pulite, to the mafia. We did it with this constitutional structure and I believe also thanks to it. With the constitutional structure envisaged by the announced reform, I don't know if it will be the same, but I say that when I have a good constitutional structure I don't feel the need to change. I can't make predictions of this type, prognostic.”