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Holy See Press Office Communiqué: Law No. CCCLI on the Vatican City State Judicial System, 16.03.2020

Today, 16 March 2020, the Holy Father promulgated Law No. CCCLI on the judicial system of Vatican City State, updating Law No. CXIX of 21 November 1987 and subsequent amendment by Law No. LXVII of 24 June 2008.

In particular, adapting to the current historical and institutional context that requires ever greater efficiency, the new law:

1. provides for a better guarantee of the independence of judicial bodies and magistrates who depend only on the Supreme Pontiff who appoints them and are subject to the law, exercising their functions with impartiality and with direct recourse to the judicial police;

2. requires specific requirements for the appointment of magistrates who are chosen among university professors and in any case among jurists of evident reputation, with proven experience, judicial or forensic, in civil, criminal or administrative matters;

3. provides for a simplification of the judicial system and, at the same time, a reinforcement of the staff of the Tribunal, which is increased by one unit, also providing for a full-time and exclusive regime for at least one of the judges;

4. presents an autonomous head for the Office of the Promoter of Justice, distinct from that of the Tribunal;

5. provides for a typification, hitherto lacking, of possible disciplinary measures regarding registered lawyers.

The law in question comes in the wake of the regulatory reforms in economic-financial and criminal matters, also due to the accession to important international conventions, and, at the same time, preserves and ensures the specificity of Vatican law, which recognises in the canonical system the first source of legislation and the first criterion of interpretation.