The Paradox Of The Judicial Innovation in South European Countries

November 5, 2015 to February 28, 2020
52 months
Funding Entity
Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology

The word “innovation” is one of the most widely used labels of recent times. In general, people is always “conducive to innovation”: the common sense of the concept, in fact, conveys something right, positive and charming. Even in the legal field, the professionals eagerly declare themselves ready to innovate, to eradicate inefficiencies and contribute to the improvement of the service. Despite all this, beyond the physiological resistance to change, exists a clear paradox, especially in the judicial systems of southern Europe: regardless to proclamations, in fact, reforms are rarely fully implemented and investments to support the innovation hardly ever produce any actual, widespread and long-lasting results.
The research project aims to analyse the paths of judicial innovation in the south European countries. The main hypothesis of this study is that there is a direct correlation between the level of internal and external independence of the judiciary and the propensity to innovation, in terms of openness to European standards on quality of justice and capacity to implement the reforms introduced in the judicial systems. This empirical research focuses on four judicial systems: Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece. The choice of these countries is explained by the willingness to consider some perfectly comparable systems, with similar dynamics and logics of action.


The research will have a strong impact on the policy makers, both at national and European level. The project will provide direct and substantial benefits to the local communities, in terms of improvement of the quality and efficiency of the judicial services, to protect the right of the people to have a transparent, accessible, modern and accountable justice. This research wants also to promote a concrete exchange of experience with other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.

Luca Verzelloni (coord)