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News: The Judicial System in Italy – Covid-19 Outbreak

08 April 2020

Following the pandemic outbreak of Covid-19, the Italian government has passed Decree Law no. 18 which came into force on 17 March 2020, replacing Decree Law no.11 of 8 March 2020. The purpose of this rule is to deal with a series of emergency measures in order to control  the epidemiological emergency from Covid-19 throughout Italy until 15 April 2020.  The terms of the Decree Law have now been further extended until 11 May and applies throughout the country following approval by the Council of Ministers on 7 April 2020. However, the extension up to 11 May 2020 is not yet in force as the relevant Decree needs to be published first in the "Gazzetta Ufficiale" which is expected to take place shortly. The club will advise further in this regard following receipt of additional information. 

The Decree covers the whole area of judicial activity – civil, criminal, fiscal and military proceedings, as well as the administrative and financial accounting proceedings.  With regard to civil justice, it introduces a general suspension of activities.  This move is of an exceptional nature and is wider than a court holiday or suspension.

Therefore, all Italian civil and criminal ordinary proceedings, as well as all procedural time limits/time bars, have been suspended from 9 March 2020 until 15 April 2020 (with a further extension until 11 May 2020 awaiting publication). This suspension only concerns cases where the time limits/time bars fall within the above period.

Hearings scheduled during this period will be adjourned to a new date. Mediations are also suspended until 15 April 2020 (with the further extension until 11 May 2020 awaiting publication).

The Courts remain open but only for urgent matters such as arrests or payment injunctions which can be filled electronically.

Members whose ongoing cases are subject to Italian law and procedure are invited to liaise with their relevant P&I handler to obtain further details on the consequences of the current situation to their cases.