Toga Party: The Political Basis of Judicial Investigations against MPs in Italy (1983-2013)
20 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2013
Date Written: 2012
Why do judges prosecute the deputies of some parties more than others? According to a straightforward game of judicial activity, we argue that judges' investigations depend on two factors: the interactions between judiciary and parliament, and the political preferences of judges. Hence, we expect that judges decide to prosecute a member of the parliament when the parliament is more likely to approve the proceedings, and the judges' political orientations diverge from the political position of the deputy under investigation. We focus on judicial activity in Italy, where over the decades we can notice a large number of charges and prosecutions against members of the parliament. We provide a quantitative analysis concerning the Italian Chamber of Deputies from 1983 to 2013. Investigations are measured looking at the requests to lift parliamentary immunity that judges have to send to the parliament before proceeding with a prosecution. The political orientations of judges are estimated according the support to the different factions within ANM (the National Judiciary Association). The preliminary results show that judges' political preferences and the number of seats of opponent parties have a significant impact on the decisions to prosecute rather some parties than others.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation