« | Home | »

Equal Before the Law

Tags: | | |

Yesterday’s decision by Italy’s constitutional court to revoke the prime minister’s immunity from prosecution was unexpected, but with hindsight looks almost inevitable. The fundamental grounds for it are simple: according to Article 3 of the Italian Constitution, all citizens are equal before the law.

Berlusconi’s reaction was predictable: he says he’s the victim of a left-wing conspiracy involving the courts, the media and even – a charge he hasn’t dared level before – the president of the republic. The prime minister said he needed immunity in order to run the country. Since he can’t have immunity, the logical upshot is that he can’t run the country. But logic has never been Berlusconi’s strong point. He promised to continue in government, ‘with or without the law’.

Last Saturday I went to a demonstration in Rome against the government’s attempts to curb (even further) the freedom of the press. It was an uplifting occasion, the Piazza del Popolo overflowing with up to 300,000 people. ‘The right to know, the duty to inform’ was the message of the day. But then my train home was delayed for a few minutes while the police manhandled a black woman out of her carriage. Apparently her ticket had expired, and she’d told them to fuck off. Unwise of her, certainly. But that’s the second time in as many months that I’ve witnessed the police harassing a black woman on the trains. Some citizens, it would seem, are still more equal than others.

Comments on “Equal Before the Law”

  1. Martin says:

    For an interesting comparison with South African President, Jacob Zuma’s dropped corruption charges (conveniently dropped just before the elections) and handling of the Constitutional Court, see
    http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/berlusconi-zuma-politicians/.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • ianpointon on Divided Britain: EU workers rights are not just undermined by the precarity of casualised employment, zero-hours contracts and oppressive conditions at work. Acces...
    • bluecat on Bullxit: Meanwhile, people not unaligned to the unfolding Labour leadership coup were spreading the rumour that Corbyn had voted Leave. This despite his spoken...
    • guanchonazo on Historic Failure: Well, this is certainly not the end of the world, even if it is the end of the world as we know it. If it is still too early to judge if the French Re...
    • Simon Wood on Bullxit: I read that Boris piece with jaw dropped to the floor of Tesco's in Streatham while my daughters were ice skating. The "Telegraph" had pulled out a...
    • FromArseToElbow on Slow Motion Disintegration: The parallel for Corbyn would be a principled if spiky manager who has publicly fallen out with some of his squad on occasion (let's assume the PLP ar...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement