The mini-reform of the Italian Civil Procedure has, after innumerable postponements which have not led to the remedying of the persistent lack of preparedness of judicial offices, entered completely into force, with some last minute amendments.

In particular, after various oscillations, it has been decided not to implement equalising or transitory regimes for proceedings already pending, which shall therefore continue to take place in accordance with the previous rules (with predictable further worsening of the delays); whilst proceedings commenced after the beginning of May shall be conducted in accordance with the new procedure, and will employ at least fifty per cent of the judges of the Civil sections of the Italian High Courts (Tribunali) and Pretori (lower courts).

As far as new proceedings are concerned, it is worth remembering what has already been stated with reference to the strict regime of time limits by which the defendant now risks being caught if the same does not enter an appearance within a very short period, by filing the entire presentation of its defences - which, in matters of some complexity, requires the immediate creation of a task force able to do everything necessary, with the help of the client, in as little as one month. The new system will, in fact, conspicuously increase the number of cases won on purely procedural grounds, independently of the strength of the parties' cases, so that it is obviously important to do what is necessary to avoid damages and to exploit to the full any defensive defaillances of the other party.

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.