Justice

In the following paper I will focus on the understanding, components, and contingent elements that have defined the evolution of the rule of law that has dominated legal and judicial practice for the better part of a decade now, especially in Europe. It goes without saying that in an undertaking of this nature, the selection of relevant aspects and, more importantly, the considerations associated with them are not immune to a perspective that is closely aligned with the duties of a judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union. In view of the particular relevance of recent developments in the rule of law in third countries, namely in the USA and Israel, it seems appropriate to also include these in the analysis.

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Globally, governments and private parties such as businesses, NGOs, and individuals struggle to handle a growing number of used electronic devices. There are poisoning effects on land that often take many years to emerge, hindering several attempts to achieve land degradation neutrality. Legislation and legal enforcement must concentrate on eliminating and neutralizing dangerous compounds from e-waste, ensuring proper storage and preventing illicit trading. After examining relevant public international law and concerned organizations, a worldwide scenario and taxonomy of the relevant UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are assessed. The paper concludes that although public authorities are working hard to reduce environmental pollution caused by e-waste, existing international, regional, and national legislative tools and approaches could be more effectively implemented. It is necessary to take global actions to ensure environmental protection and human safety while addressing ambiguities in both national and international law.

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Res judicata in orders for payment may be challenged by means of late appeals against payment orders under Article 650 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure (CPC): a consistent interpretation of art. 650 CPC allows a debtor who has not been warned of the possibility of contesting the unfair terms of the contract to take legal action when finally informed of his rights.

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In the Italian legal system – a constitutional State that has emerged from the ferocious totalitarianisms of the 20th century – access to judges is filtered by a control of worthiness that is based on indeterminate concepts, namely variable and personal tables of values. It is therefore possible – necessary, perhaps – to use the paradigm of legitimacy to argue for a broadening of access. It is necessary to loosen, if not quite sever, the hitherto tight and suffocating bond between the proximity of the subject to the physical place where the administrative decision impacts, and the actionability of the claim. There is a minimum objective, recently framed by the Plenary Assembly of the Council of State: to understand vicinitas in terms of contiguity that is no longer only material, but also axiological. And then a more ambitious one: to “de-subjectivise” the claim, to the point of configuring trans-subjective rights, that is, “without master”.

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Judicial systems are experiencing a period of strong institutional and social pressure to improve, on the one hand, their effectiveness and efficiency and on the other, to increase their level of transparency and accountability. This is particularly evident in the Italian context, in which the debate regarding the judicial system has always been very heated and where numerous attempts at reform have taken place. Among other things, a new reform of the judicial system is considered the sine qua non for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). This article aims to explore the dissemination of socio-environmental and sustainability reporting among Italian judicial offices, with particular regard to the factors that facilitate and hinder such practices. To this end, a survey involving 430 offices belonging to the Italian ordinary justice system was conducted. The survey, based on 57 valid responses, highlights a very limited dissemination of sustainability reporting, despite the fact that there is a good knowledge of its function and therefore an awareness of its potential usefulness. Interesting results are highlighted in reference to the factors hindering or facilitating the related processes. Last but not least, the paper suggests some implications for policy makers and public administration that are willing to take this path.

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Article 80, paragraph 5, letter c) of the Code of Public Contracts provides for exclusion from participation of economic operators who have been convicted of serious professional misconduct affecting their integrity or reliability. The rationale for this prevision is «the need», of the public administration, «to ensure the reliability of those who propose themselves as contractors» (Council of State, decision no.1412, of April 11, 2016) through an evaluation process to determine their integrity. This provision has been the subject of a recent decision by the Regional Administrative Court for Sardinia: no. 646 of October 3, 2022. That decision focused on the discretion left by this provision – at the point where it provides for the exclusion of the economic operator for serious professional misconduct on the basis of any means considered by the Contracting Authority as adequate. The decision has clarified how this evaluation presupposes a specific reasoning based on two levels: one objective and one relative, which considers both the gravity of the professional misconduct committed by the economic operator, and the prejudice that it may cause to the specific contract in question.

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With the decision n. 248/2022 of the 12th of February 2022, the Administrative Court of Puglia has ruled on aspects of the impact of a new generation of agrivoltaic plant, concluding them to be less impacting than a traditional photovoltaic plant. The Judge of first instance recognized the inadequacy of the Regional Territorial Landscape Plan of the Region of Puglia with reference to these new plant configurations, concluding agrivoltaic plants as being compatible with the agricultural and pastoral uses activities in the region.

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In a recent judgement, the administrative court of Lazio has annulled the circular of the Ministry of Health concerning the domestic management of Covid-19 patients. It has in fact argued that the binding nature of the circular undermines the possibility of the physicians to freely select the most suitable therapy for the patient. The Council of State has a different opinion and, reforming the judgment of the TAR, has also ruled on the complex issue related to the relationship between the standardization of care and autonomy of the physicians. This contribution offers an overview on the rulings of the administrative courts on this topic and then focuses on a short analysis of the second instance judgment.

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By judgment No. 2309 of 17 March 2021, the Council of State has further confirmed – overcoming the idea that the term for the conclusion of ARERA’s sanctioning procedure is merely ordinary – the peremptory nature of such term, therefore its overrun affects the challenged sanctioning measure, implying that it is unlawful. Indeed, the provision of a procedural time frame, to be determined by the Authority on a case-by-case basis, shall ensure that the time of sanction ascertainment is close to that of its punishment, thus meaning that the undue time lapse of the administrative action implies the unlawfulness of the sanction measure.

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The essay singles out the problematic profiles of the decision by which the Consiglio di Giustizia amministrativa per la Regione siciliana ordered a preliminary investigation, before evaluating the existence of the non-manifest unfoundedness of the question of constitutional legitimacy raised by the appellant relating the Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

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