Draft Law 1082, which was recently approved in the Senate, will
become law in the next few weeks. Among other things, the
legislation modifies different aspects of the Italian civil
procedure and empowers the government to take measures in order to
simplify and streamline civil proceedings
There are notable new rules on:
the winner's costs where a reasonable settlement offer was
previously made; and
the introduction of a summary proceeding which could reduce the
average duration of proceedings in Italy.
In light of the above, this newsletter is divided into two
parts. The first describes the most important amendments to the
Italian Civil Procedure Law, while the second concerns the
framework of the implementing legislation to be issued by the
government within the next 24 months.
1. Draft Law 1082
a. Road accidents: The labour proceedings will
no longer apply to disputes involving road accidents (abrogation of
Article 3, Law 102/2006).
b.Ordinary summary process: A
new summary proceeding has been introduced for disputes that fall
under the jurisdiction of a single judge. The plaintiff can seek to
avail of this option in the course of an ordinary summary
proceeding. In the absence of further classification, where the
plaintiff opts for this summary process the defendant is obliged to
participate. However, the judge can refuse the request if he or she
considers that a full proceeding is required. If the judge approves
the request for a summary proceeding, he or she must determine the
essential requirements of the inquiry. Other than this, it is
unclear how the proceeding will run. The rule does not explain what
simplifications this new summary proceeding will offer.
c.Undisputed facts: The
decision may based on undisputed facts. Lawyers must pay special
heed to this new feature, as a dispute may now be decided on facts
which have not been debated.
d. Written deposition: Written depositions have
been introduced to civil trials. An authenticated signature is
required. In any event, the judge has discretion to rule that an
oral deposition is necessary, in which case he or she will exclude
the written deposition. This is one of the most innovative changes
contained in the draft law.
e. Unfounded process: The court may order the
losing party to pay the winning party a sum determined in a
equitable way. The court can decide on this ex
f. Winner's costs: If the amount awarded by
the court does not exceed what was previously offered in a
reasonable and timely settlement proposal, the winning party may be
ordered to pay the costs of victory.
g.Power of attorney and notification
with electronic instruments: A bailiff can provide
notification through electronic media and certified email. Power of
attorney may also be provided through an electronic document.
h. Justice of the peace: The act has extended
the jurisdiction of the justice of peace based on the value of the
dispute. The justice of the peace has jurisdiction over disputes
involving sums of up to €5,000.
2. Implementing legislation
The draft law requires the government to enact implementing
legislation in relation to the simplification and streamlining of
civil proceedings, and to mediation in ordinary proceedings. First,
the government must harmonise the ordinary process with the
different proceedings available under other laws. Only a few
special proceedings, such as bankruptcy and family proceedings, are
excluded from the simplification process. The second piece of
implementing legislation concerns mediation in civil and commercial
disputes. Among other principles to be introduced, lawyers will be
obliged to suggest that their clients attempt mediation before
proceedings are commenced.
Draft Law 1082 will introduce several amendments to the Italian
civil procedure. It is possible that the draft law may be further
modified before it becomes law. The most important changes will
depend on the implementing legislation to follow; the government
has two years in which to enact this legislation. Thus, only time
will tell how proceedings will be streamlined and simplified in
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.
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