Professor Flora Sapio Keynote Speech on Judicial Reform in Italy at East China University of Political Science and Law

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Conference Date: June 18th, 2016
Conference Location: ECUPL, Shanghai, China

The dynamic between modernization, efficiency and local reality has always been the center of globalization. The same question remained in the context of judicial reform: could new wave of judicial integration preserve the important feature of local norms? To what extent, could a society rescind its local social norms for integration or modernization? This summer, FLIA cohost summer conference “Discussion on Judicial Reform” at East China Political Science and Law (ECUPL) with Research Center for Chinese Rule of Law of ECUPL and Torino World Affairs Institute of University of Turin on June 18th in Shanghai China.

Professor Flora Sapio delivered an excellent paper on this topic, her paper ‘Constructing an European Area of Justice: Judicial Reform in Italy” perfectly captured this modern conundrum: “how a sovereign state such as Italy, always at the side of recipient of legal norms, preserve features and traditions of their own social norms in light of integrating with globalization that demand efficiency and predictability.” Professor Flora’s account on judicial integration in Italy provided us an excellent insight on issue of modern judicial reform, especially the emphasize of “performance” and “efficiency” over “value,” which lead to the tendency of judicial bureaucratization.

Professor Flora’s keynote speech resonated with the Chinese legal professions. Like Italy, China has always subject to great influence of foreign norms and legal thinking. Local county judge, Mr. Tang provided his personal account of recent judicial reform in China, which lunched after the 3rd plenary session of 18th central CPC. This judicial reform installed series experimental measures at local court system, which share many similarities with the one conduct in Italy, such as reorganizing jurisdiction and quantifiable factors to evaluate judge performance. There are some discussions on the implications of these reforms but it is still too early to conclude for the ongoing reform.

Professor Tong from ECUPL provided a length analysis on the horizontal and vertical structure of Chinese judicial system, which points out the uniqueness of China’s reality in comparison with Italy. FLIA member Keren Wang, Shan Gao and Zhang aisi joined discussion, gave their account of judicial reforms in Japan and U.S. as important reference for the universal issue of judicial reform.