The European Court of Human Rights Sanctions Italy for jailing the Editor of an Italian newspaper!

Recently, my eyes caught the title of what appeared to be a book in the window of a bookshop. The title of the book went something like this:

Definition of the Stubbornly Misguided: People who mechanically repeat the same things over and over again full well knowing the results have been disastrous in the past, under the conviction that next time around, the outcome will be better.

And boom! I immediately thought of how apropos the title was to Italian law and procedure as administered by Italy’s misguided judicial bureaucracy.

On Friday 8 March, “il Giornale”, an Italian “opposition” newspaper ran an editorial by Alessandro Sallusti informing readers that the European Court of Human Rights had condemned Italy to pay Sallusti Twelve Thousand Euros in damages for having been unjustly sentenced to eighteen months in jail for libel back in November of 2012. Good gracious, they can still throw you in jail in Italy for libel. An Editor, no less, who did not write the article considered defamatory by an Italian DA but who failed to exercise due care before publishing the piece! Nobody in Europe or, for that matter, any other Western jurisdiction goes to jail anymore for libel. Jeez, what an unbelievably dumb thing to do!

Hell, in most other first world jurisdictions “defamation” is a “tort,” or as an Italian lawyer would say, an “illecito civile” which as the word implies is a civil offense. That means you cannot go to jail for it, but you can be sued in civil court and made to pay money to the person that sued you. But in Italy, they would rather throw you in jail than take your money. Why? Well, it comes from the social-communist thinking and the inquisitorial mindset that permeates not only the legal community that money sanctions favor the rich that can easily pay and, if allowed to do so, it would be like letting “them” go practically scot-free. So in Italy, everyone risks going to jail. Beautiful!

In the above case, however, the Head of State intervened almost immediately to cancel Sallusti’s jail term (house arrest) considered abnormal and unjust.

This is not the first time that Italy gets sanctioned for its misguided criminal rules and procedures. But hey, like the title of the book says: the Italian judicial bureaucracy is not only misguided, it is stubbornly misguided. As our French cousins would say, “Nous sommes en ……… Italie!

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