The Administrative Judge and the Public Administration: Control, Guidance, Interference

By Luisa Torchia

The Italian administrative judge has full jurisdiction on administrative action. This full jurisdiction is crucial in guaranteeing citizens’ rights, limiting arbitrary action and enhancing accountability. Many different conflicts, often highly significant, are considered and discussed by the administrative judges. These conflicts originate mainly in the growing normative chaos and in the weakness of Italian public administration. Italian public administration does not possess sufficient resources and utilizes old and antiquated instruments. The legal regimes governing liability and accountability are badly structured, such that inertia and passivity become preferable to action and proactivity. The Italian administrative judge often goes beyond the traditional boundaries of judicial review, assuming a role of guide and substitute toward the public administration. The risk is, therefore, of enhancing rather than reducing uncertainty and fragmentation.