Italy is a southern European, parliamentary republic bordered by Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and France and includes the islands of Sardinia and Sicily as part of its territory. The Vatican City and San Marino are sovereign states existing within Italy while the Italian enclave of Campione d'Italia is located in Switzerland. With the fourth biggest economy of any European Union member, Italy is also an influential Regional and Middle Power and an established participant of NATO, the World Trade Organization and all three annual "G" summits.
Italy's government is a bicameral parliament consisting of two houses--the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies. The "Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri" (President of the Council of Ministers or Prime Minister of Italy) is head of government and is elected to office by the President of the Republic. The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies are independent entities that never meet unless under specific circumstances as described in Italy's constitution.
Italy's Legal System
Administrative, criminal and civil courts comprise Italy's legal system. Criminal cases involve tribunals, judges and juries, unlike administrative and civil courts that only require lawyers to complete litigation. Following judgment, a party in criminal court can appeal to a higher court up to Italy's Supreme Court, if applicable. Civil court justice is allocated by the "giudice di pace" (the justices of the peace), judges, tribunals, appeals and supreme courts.
Protection of individual and legitimate interests is the function of Italy's administrative courts. Cases heard in administrative court primarily deal with public interests, public funds and problems surrounding estates, wills or city/village issues.
Study Law in Italy
Becoming a Lawyer in Italy
Lawyers in Italy are referred to as "avvocati" and belong to the country's national bar association called the "Consiglio Nazionale Forense". Lawyers may also be members of their local bar association since the legal profession in Italy is decentralized. However, the Consiglio Nazionale Forense is responsible for dispensing disciplinary measures on all practicing lawyers in Italy and adheres to a code of conduct that applies to counselors working in all Italian territories.
Because Italy is a European Union country, its legal education requirements mirror those of other EU countries. Completion of undergraduate (LLB) and graduate level (LLM) is mandatory, along with at least one year of interning with a law firm or other law-oriented entities. Passage of the bar examination is necessary before lawyers can practice law in Italy.
Cost of attending law school in Italy varies widely depending on area and whether the university is public or private.