“We are creating a council of experts to understand what are the modifications needed by the Sicilian statute after 72 years to adapt it to our days. Politics needs the contribution of university professors, constitution and administration experts.” These are the words of the ARS (Sicilian Regional Assembly) president, Gianfranco Miccichè, as he opened the day of studies titled “The transformations of administrative justice: modernity and the role of the Administrative Justice Council for the Sicilian Region” at the Royal Palace.

Miccichè is committed “to deliver the experts proposals to the commission for the Statute of the ARS, starting from some rules relating to the role of  the Council for Administrative Justice for the Sicilian region, a unique model of administrative justice in Italy, as it is the only example of administrative court of appeal in a regional context”. The invitation has been collected by the State Council, Alessandro Pajno: “there was a collaboration between the Region of Sicily, when the president was Alessi, and the president of the nascent Council of Administrative Justice, a strong collaboration even in a phase of establishment of such organs”. Pajno underlined the role of the Council of Administrative Justice in its judicial and consultative activity, and the “important contribution given to the definition of the new bodies meant to strengthen its autonomy”. A role played in the “dawning phase” of Sicilian autonomy, which could be re-launched, Pajno seems to say, even today when there is actual talk of revising the Sicilian statute.

It is one of the ideas that came out of a debate centered on the current role of the CGARS, both as a consulting body of the regional government, and for its contribution to guaranteeing the law on a regional and national level. specific issues of litigation in front of the administrative court have been addressed, such as public procurement and their recent national and regional reform, anti-mafia information, fundamental rights and their compression resulting from cuts in public spending.

The Federico II Foundation, co-organizer of this day, shows great interest in moments of reflection and analysis that have little to do with the mere conference. The general manager of the Federico II  Foundation Patrizia Monterosso has proposed  to make today’s event an annual occurrence.

“The Federico II Foundation is pleased to contribute to the organization and support of the day of juridical studies focused on the role of CGARS and the defense of the specificity of the historical and juridical identity of the Sicilian Region. The Council of Administrative Justice represents, from this point of view, a garrison of the “positive” Autonomy that the Foundation intends to contribute to preserving through initiatives for further study. An Autonomous Region cannot fail to have its own organ for administrative justice, which is at the citizens’ service – underlined Monterosso – In this sense, the Federico II Foundation has not only the primary function to enhance the cultural heritage but , also, to support the Sicilian Autonomy, as a symbol of an authority that the Constituent Fathers had in mind. That of  today was not a simple conference, but a day of study and comparison between the highest representatives of administrative justice at a national level. Four themes have been dealt with: anti-mafia information, public procurement, fundamental rights, the effectiveness of protection and guaranteeing the law on a regional and national level. Our hope – concluded the Manager- is that today becomes an annual event to be institutionalized “.
“This meeting – said Rosanna De Nictolis, president of the CGARS – wants to offer the sense of a living, vital, and constructive presence of the CGARS in the regional territory, where it replicates the constitutional function of the Council of State: that of an advisory body of the Region in a neutral way; with the perspective of an institutional collaboration for the improvement of legislation and administration, in the interest of the Region also and above all meant as a community, rather than as a bureaucratic apparatus; of a judge of the administration, not in the original and definitively dated sense of a judge who is friendly and protective of the administration as an apparatus, but of a neutral judge and guarantor of legality and of good administration, which ensures the effective protection of the citizens’ and businesses’ rights in relations with public power, even more in times of a crisis of legality and institutions, of economic crisis that tends to compress fundamental rights. This role of the administrative judge requires absolute impartiality, neutrality, transparency, and at the same time constructive spirit and openness to listening and collaborating with all institutional subjects, respecting each other’s roles: from the Region to all public administrations, to Private and Public Law, in its institutional and associative component. The CGARS is a jurisdiction, which as such has the objectives of a good jurisdiction, “classic” objectives, therefore the same over the centuries: quality and timeliness of decisions, reasonable duration of trials, uniformity of the judge’s guidelines. But no jurisdiction is able to achieve these goals alone because it does not live detached from the context in which it is inserted, and with which it interacts in a mutual exchange: it is the good laws, the good administrations and the good lawyers that make a good judge, and it is the good judge who improves administrative and forensic practices and contributes to the improvement of laws “.

Courtesy translation Elettra La Duca