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The Albano Law

Before anyone shouts, I know it’s really the ‘AlFano Law’! If you are Italian, you might appreciate the allusion to Albano, who is a sort of a has-been, and rather sad, Italian singer who now only manages to get invitations to appear on dodgy TV shows such as ‘Island of the Famous’ or rather, ‘Island of Those Who Once Were Quite Famous, and Would Like to Be Again’.

Italian kids quite liked this show, whereas when I ended up seeing it one night, I ended up wondering how on earth such crap can be made. And they actually paid people to do it! At least it kept a few souls of the streets, I suppose.

Sorry, I digress. The Alfano Law, is you are not to up on what is going down in the Living Museum, is a new law, sort of camouflaged as judicial reform, but that is basically designed to help Italy’s colourful prime minister, Berlusconi from being put on trial while still holding the position of Italy’s most powerful politician.

The initial draft of this ‘bullet proof jacket’ law, which I mentioned in my Is Italy’s Legal System About to Crumble post, basically aimed to put a sizeable number of court cases on hold for a year. As I observed in my post, the effect of such a law could well have been catastrophic for Italy’s snail’s pace slow and understaffed court system.

Luckily, potential disaster seems to have been averted, in that the latest proposals for this law permit the judges to decide which cases are to be put on temporary hold. Italy’s judiciary and legal profession have cautiously started to initiate sighs of relief. They have not finished exhaling yet, though. This is a draft law.

Does this now mean that cases against Berlusco will go ahead? No way José! You see the wily Mr B has also built into the Albano, whoops, sorry, Alfano law, an immunity from prosecution for those in high public office clause – ‘high public office’, as I’m sure you might imagine just happens to include the position of prime minister.  Well, it would, wouldn’t it?

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In fact, Berlusco has probably given in to the laments of Italy’s judges on the grounds that immunity will probably keep him safer for a bit longer than a year, seeing as his government, and its concrete majority will most likely manage to retain power for a full five year term. And five years is longer than one, as you will have no doubt noted.

Actually, immunity from prosecution for senior politicians is something which exists in other countries, aside from those states famed for banana production, only, this immunity from prosecution is granted regarding offences committed while the politician concerned is in office. In Italy though, the Italian interpretation of ‘immunity from prosecution’ also includes trials concerning offences committed before the politician concerned held high public office. Nice one. 100% made in Italy.

Funny thing is, in each an every Italian court, you can see the words ‘La Legge e Uguale Per Tutti’ – ‘Everyone is Equal in the Eyes of the Law’. Everyone except, that is, Mr Berlusconi (and friends), who apparently abides by the communist principle that ‘everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others’.

Even more odd is the fact that this ‘Everyone is Equal in the Eyes of the Law’ concept forms part of the Living Museum’s constitution. Here is Article 3 from the English version of the Italian constitution:

Article 3 [Equality]
(1) All citizens have equal social status and are equal before the law, without regard to their sex, race, language, religion, political opinions, and personal or social conditions. (2) It is the duty of the republic to remove all economic and social obstacles that, by limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent full individual development and the participation of all workers in the political, economic, and social organization of the country.

This sort of begs the question: Has Mr Alfano actually read the Italian constitution?

Oh, and here is a YouTube video of Albano, and a song called ‘Liberty’:


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