Italian senate passes constitutional reform bill Jeannie Shawl at 2:40 PM ET
[JURIST] The Italian Senate [official website] Wednesday approved a broad constitutional reform bill [Senate bill information] that will increase the prime minister's executive authority, minimize the risk that governments will collapse mid-term, redistribute power between the houses of parliament, and increase the self-rule of Italy's 20 regions. The changes to the Italian constitution [text, in Italian] must be approved by popular referendum, which will likely be held following parliamentary elections next year. Critics of the reforms say the legislation poses a threat to democracy and national unity, and one senator called the bill "a veritable rape of the constitution." Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi characterize the reform as an essential modernization of Italy's system of government, which has been characterized by weak prime ministers. The Financial Times has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.