Home 9 The training in Italy



With few exceptions, until the 1970s, neither the Ministry of Justice nor the High Council for the Judiciary carried out training activities for serving magistrates (so-called permanent training); the training activity is limited to a few courses at national level for young trainee judges only, mainly trained, for the rest, through support from older judges (so-called initial training). A debate takes shape, in the institutions but also within the professional associations of magistrates and lawyers, in favor of starting an independent activity for the training of magistrates. So the idea of an independent “School”, on the model of the French École Nationale de la Magistrature, established since 1958, was born.


After the important reform of the labor process, in 1973 the first courses of permanent training at national level began, organized by the High Council for the Judiciary, which continued this activity over the years also in other subjects. Hotel structures in Rome are used for the training sessions, a feature that will remain over time until the start of the School’s activity in 2012. 


The important political-social changes at the beginning of the nineties require adequate reflections on investigation techniques, also due to the reform of the criminal procedure code of 1988; on the actions aimed at giving operational application to the reform of the civil process of 1990; on a more modern training of managers and magistrates assigned to highly specialized functions (minors, surveillance). On November 19, 1992, for the first time the High Council for the Judiciary approved an articulated training program and decided to set up a structure responsible for dealing exclusively with the implementation of the programme. On September 23, 1993, an agreement was stipulated between the Ministry of Justice and the Council for the experimental implementation of a structure, called “School”, constituting an articulation of the Council itself, while the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the organization. The structure was inaugurated on April 11, 1994 but was short-lived as the Court of Auditors on September 30, 1994 denied the visa and registration to the agreement.


From 1994 to 1998, the High Council for the Judiciary, gathering the experience gained on the basis of the unregistered agreement, arrives at a structuring of the training activity exclusively by the Council, constituting an internal ad hoc Commission (the Ninth) aimed at establishing the guidelines of training, and appointing a structure made up of magistrates and university professors (the so-called Scientific Committee), in charge of developing them in the annual and detailed programming. In 1999, this “central” structure was joined by a network of “decentralized training” present in each district of the court of appeal. In 2004, a network of trainers of honorary judges was added to this circuit. The Board’s activities expand, up to the participation of the Council in the European networks of Judicial Schools.

2012: the School is born

Since the end of the nineties, the majority of European states owned Schools of the judiciary; the independence of judicial training was now mentioned in many documents of the Council of Europe and the European Union. The establishment of the School for the Judiciary was thus achieved in Italy as part of the broader reform of the judicial system: on the basis of the law 25 July 2005, n. 150 is issued the Legislative Decree 30 January 2006, n. 26, which dictates an initial regulation of the School. The discipline is then reformulated with the law 30 July 2007, n. 111. The School resulting from this law is an autonomous body which ensures the implementation of the right and duty to professional training of members of the judiciary and carries out other teaching and research tasks; among these, the permanent training of magistrates and, in collaboration with the High Council of the Judiciary, the initial training of trainee judges (who, unlike in the previous arrangement, carry out residential sessions at the School for six months); the training of heads of judicial offices and honorary magistrates. The School is in charge of decentralized training and training activities at a European and international level; collaborates in the training of other legal operators and publishes studies and researches. The bodies of the School are: the Steering committee made up of twelve members chosen by the High Council of the Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice among magistrates, university professors and lawyers; the President; the Secretary general. 

On 29 May 2012, a Memorandum of understanding was signed between the Minister of Justice, the President of the School, the President of the Tuscany Region, the President of the Province of Florence, the Mayors of Florence and Scandicci, aimed at using the Villa Castel Pulci in Scandicci  for training activities. At the same time, a provisional central office of the School was set up in premises in Rome. 

The assignment of the Villa to the judicial training activity simultaneously achieves two long-pursued objectives: the identification of a stable “house” for carrying out this very delicate activity, functional to the greater professionalization of the magistrate, also through deepening of extrajuridical knowledge and deontological profiles; the start of operations of an independent body – the School – exclusively responsible for the training activity of magistrates.