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The Minister of Justice

Andrea Orlando Minister of Justice from 22th February 2014

last udpdate: 15 June 2014

The Minister of Justice is Andrea Orlando

Andrea Orlando was born in  La Spezia on 8 February 1969.

In 1989 he became provincial secretary of the Youth Federation of Italian Comunists  (FGCI - Federazione Giovanile Comunisti Italiani) for the province of La Spezia, and the following year he was elected member of the City Council of La Spezia for the  Italian Communist Party (PCI - Partito Comunista Italiano).  After the dissolution of the Italian Communist Party he was re-elected to the City Council with the Democratic Party of the Left  (PDS -  Partito Democratico della Sinistra).  In 1993 he became the party’s leader in the City Council and in 1995  the Town Secretary of the party;  in 1997 he was elected with the highest number of votes to the City Council and the Mayor of La Spezia, Giorgio Pagano, appointed him town councilor [assessore]  to productive activities first and then to territorial planning: he held this post until the 2002 elections.

In 2000 he was appointed member of the Democrats of the Left (DS - Democratici di Sinistra) regional secretariat for Tuscany as chief-in-charge of local authorities.   He became the party’s provincial secretary for La Spezia in 2001, and in 2003 Piero Fassino called him to the party’s national directorate to work initially as deputy chief-in-charge of organization and after (2005) as chief-in-charge of local authorities.

In 2006 he became member of the party’s national secretariat as chief-in-charge of organization.
In 2006 he stood as a candidate in the general elections of 9-10 April, and was elected in the 10th constituency for the Liguria region of the “Ulivo” [Olive tree] coalition.  In April 2007, at the congress marking the dissolution of the Democrats of the Left party, he joined the Democratic Party (PD - Partito Democratico) and was made chief-in charge of organization.

In the 2008 general elections he was re-elected  to the Chamber of Deputies in the Liguria constituency for the Democratic Party and appointed member of the Budget Committee of the Chamber of Deputies and member of the Anti-mafia Parliamentary Committee.

On 14 November 2008 he was appointed spokesman for the Democratic Party by the party’s Secretary, Walter Veltroni, at the party’s national secretariat; his appointment was confirmed by the party’s successive Secretary, Dario Franceschini.
In November 2009 Pier Luigi Bersani, the national Secretary-elect of the Democratic Party, appointed him Chair of the Party’s Justice Forum and he held this appointment until 2013, when he became Minister for the Environment.

From 2011 to 2013 he was Commissioner of the Democratic Party in Naples.

In 2013, having obtained the highest number of votes in the Liguria constituency’s “primary elections” for selecting the party’s candidates to the general elections, he lead the Democratic Party’s list of candidates for that constituency in the general elections to the Chamber of Deputies.

On 28 April 2013 he was appointed Minister for the Environment in the Letta government.

On 21 February 2014 he was appointed Minister of Justice by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and on 22 February 2014 he was sworn in by the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, as Minister of Justice in the Renzi government.

 

The Minister of Justice is the only Minister with a constitutional status: Article 110 of the Constitution provides that it has responsibility for “the organization and functioning of those services involved with justice”.
This attribute derives from the Constitution which provides that the judiciary is a branch that is autonomous and independent of all other powers, declaring that it “is subject only to the law”.
The constitutional body that ensures the independence of the judiciary is the High Council of the Judiciary [Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura], presided over by the President of the Republic. The High Council of the Judiciary has jurisdiction for employment, assignments and transfers, promotions of judges.
The law governing the Council’s functioning grants the Minister of Justice the faculty to submit requests and observations on matters of direct competence of the Council and to take part in the Council’s sittings - either upon request of the Council’s President or whenever the Minister deems it appropriate - in order to make statements or clarifications. The Minister is also granted the faculty to require information from the heads of the Courts on the management of justice.
The Minister of Justice gives its opinion on the appointment of the heads of the courts.
The Minister of Justice is also entitled to take disciplinary actions. The High Council of the Judiciary gives its opinion on the actions taken by the Minister.
Indeed, the two fundamental functions of the Minister of Justice are indicated in the Italian Constitution: the organization of the services related to the judiciary and the right to take disciplinary action against a judge. The other functions are defined by ordinary laws.