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Italian president refuses to sign Berlusconi justice bill

[JURIST] In a rare political move, 84-year old Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi has refused to sign a justice bill sponsored by the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, sending it back to Italy's parliament for revision. The President's office issued a brief news release on the refusal Thursday (in Italian). Italian judges and prosecutors had gone on strike over the bill three time while it was in process, claiming that it would erode judicial independence. The legislation would have required lawyers to decide at an early stage in their careers if they wanted to become prosecutors or judges and would have prohibited back-and-forth switching that now takes place, switching that the government says results in case delays as well as a pro-prosecutorial bias in the judiciary. AFP has more.

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