Italian Parliament Passes Reform of the Civil Justice System

December 2021

On November 25, 2021, following the approval by the Senate, the House of Deputies has approved a bill (the Bill) that introduces a reform of the Italian civil justice system (the Reform). The Bill, which formally delegates the government to enact a number of legislative decrees, aims at improving the efficiency and transparency of the Italian civil justice system and revises the rules governing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. The Reform is a key step towards fulfilment of commitments made to the EU Commission by the Italian government in the context of the Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). Such commitments were a prerequisite for Italy being given access to the significant funds granted by the Next Generation EU program. In total, the EU funding program is expected to grant up to €209 billion to Italy.

This long-awaited Reform is aimed at achieving the ambitious goal of reducing the overall duration of Italian civil proceedings by 40% over the next five years. The declared goal is to shorten the duration of civil proceedings to a maximum of 1,000 days, counted from the onset of the litigation until the issuance of a final judgment.

This brief summary focuses on certain key aspects of the Reform that should have an impact on conducting business in Italy. The aspects covered are as follows:

  • Mediation and assisted negotiation
  • Arbitration
  • First instance proceedings
  • Appeal and Supreme Court proceedings
  • Enforcement proceedings