On 6 November 2014, the Italian Parliament approved a bill to
improve the efficiency of civil proceedings. The new rules are
effective from 10 November 2014.
Please see below a brief summary of the main changes:
Transfer of a pending lawsuit to arbitration.
In civil proceedings pending before the lower courts and courts of
appeal, the parties will be able to request jointly that the case
be submitted to and adjudicated by an arbitration tribunal, unless
the dispute relates to non-negotiable rights, employment matters or
social security issues. The revised rules regarding
arbitrators' fees will be set by a separate ministerial
Assisted Dispute Resolution. Assisted Dispute
Resolution is a procedure in which the parties, facilitated by one
or more lawyers, agree to cooperate in good faith to resolve a
dispute, thus avoiding litigation. Under the new legislation, as a
necessary prelude to litigation, any party seeking compensation for
damages caused by the use of vehicles and boats or other claims for
less than Euro 50,000 will be required to submit a dispute
resolution request to the other party, who will be free to accept
or decline it. However, this requirement may be waived in the event
of enforcement proceedings related to a payment order (or its
opposition), settlement proceedings following appointment of a
court expert (see article 696bis of the Italian Civil Procedure
Code), opposition or incidental proceedings related to the
enforcement of court orders issued in chamber and in the event of a
civil action brought forward in the course of criminal proceedings.
If a settlement is reached and duly signed by the parties and their
assisting lawyers, the agreement will constitute an enforceable
instrument, allowing a creditor under that agreement to record a
judicial charge on the debtor's property.
Changes to the legal costs regime: the losing party to
pay the winning party's costs. In an effort to
discourage excessive recourse to litigation, the court will only be
entitled to make no order as to costs only in the cases where a
mutually unfavourable ruling is made, in the event of a recent
change in jurisprudence on the matter, or if the issue under
dispute has not been covered by a consolidated precedent.
Shift from ordinary to summary judgments. In
disputes before an individual judge, once the complexity of the
issues involved and the sort of evidence requested to rule on the
case has been evaluated, he/she can issue an order, not subject to
appeal, converting the proceedings from ordinary proceedings to
Suspension of judicial deadlines and reduced holiday
entitlement for judges. New dates for the suspension of
judicial activity during the summer have been set, which will make
the holiday period run from 1 August to 31 August (previously it
extended until 15 September). The annual holiday entitlement for
all judges, prosecutors and lawyers working for the Government
legal service has also been reduced to 30 days.
Higher interest on delayed payments. Instead of
the old (and lower) judicial interest rates, all late payments will
be subject to interest at significantly higher rates already
applicable to commercial business transactions, accruing from the
date of filing of the claim.
Enforcement: attendance of third party debtors is no
longer required. In the case of enforcement against a
third party debtor, attendance by the latter at the enforcement
hearing is no longer required. Instead of attending, the third
party is still required to file a debtor's statement with the
court presiding over the enforcement, but may do so by registered
letter or certified e-mail.
Further changes are also expected in Family Law in relation to
divorce and separation.
(1) The requirement to resort to assisted dispute
resolution for all claims under € 50,000 applies regardless of
the type of dispute, except those covered under article 5,
paragraph 1bis of Legislative Decree no. 28/2010, according to
which parties must attempt mediation (condominium-related issues,
property rights, estate division, succession disputes, family
pacts, tenancies, loans without consideration, business leases,
damage repayments for medical liability, defamation through press
or media, insurance, banking and financing
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
In a judgment harking back to the principles in Donoghue v Stevenson, the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court's decision that the manufacturer of a defective product installed to prevent fire was not liable...
A year-long arbitration pilot scheme to provide a cost-effective, straightforward and quick method of solving legal disputes between claimants and participating members of the press commenced on the 26th July 2016.
Welcome to the Summer edition of Scots Law In Practice. The first three cases contain a common thread – the pursuer in each had a valid claim on the face of things, but in each one, faced legal difficulties in obtaining a remedy.
Each year businesses around the world face a growing number of risks that could potentially jeopardize hundreds of billions of euros.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).