A Judges’ Revolution? Political Corruption and the Judiciary in Italy

Keywords: Corruption – Judiciary - Interactions between politicians and judges - Italy


During the investigations into political corruption in Italy, judges emerged in the eyes of the public as the ‘heroes’ of a peaceful revolution against the ‘villainous’ politicians. The established explanation for the active role of the judiciary against corruption stresses the unusual degree of independence of Italian judges. Besides this, the professional culture of the magistracy and the informal networking between politicians and judges are also discussed. This article is based on an examination of judicial documents relating to 40 episodes of political corruption, in-depth interviews with experts, reports of relevant Parliamentary Inquiry Commissions, requests for indictment of Members of Parliament, official statistics and the daily and weekly press.