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Judicial Specialization: In search of the ‘Right’ Judge for Each Case?

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The issue of how much specialization is required of a modern judiciary is debated in many legal systems, some of which have a long tradition of generalist judges. The increasing complexity of contemporary society and the emergence of new legal fields, dominated by technical concepts, can be seen as the perfect rationale for the establishment of specialized courts. It is easy to think that a new array of complex cases, raising sophisticated issues of fact and law, deserves to be adjudicated by judges who are highly skilled in the subject matters at stake. New specialized courts could also contribute to the solution of the problem affecting various legal systems, that is, the huge caseloads burdening ordinary courts. And yet, judicial specialization may also have significant drawbacks: among others, the danger of the ‘insularity’ of specialized courts, a tendency to self-seclude inside the restricted boundaries of the matters falling within their expertise. After some brief remarks on the advantages and disadvantages of judicial specialization, this essay elaborates on the state of the issue in Italy, where recent reforms and others announced seem to indicate a new trend in favor of the establishment of more specialized divisions within ordinary courts.

About the Author

Elisabetta Silvestri
University of Pavia
Associate Professor of Italian Civil Procedure and Comparative Civil Procedure, Director of the Post-Graduate Program on Mediation & ADR at the Department of Law, University of Pavia (65 Strada Nuova str., Pavia, 27100, Italy)


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For citation:

Silvestri E. Judicial Specialization: In search of the ‘Right’ Judge for Each Case? Russian Law Journal. 2014;2(4):165-175.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)