Official defenders: new rules effective from 27 October 2019

The regulation for maintaining the list of public defenders has been changed.

The new rules will be in force from 27 October 2019. There are mainly four issues affected by the changes:

1. Fulfillment of the training obligation

2. Regulation of the training and professional updating course in criminal matters

3. Presentation of the application for placement and permanence

4. Ex officio defenses before the Supreme Court of Cassation


Fulfillment of the training obligation

Compulsory training cannot be completed in the three-year period preceding the submission of the application, but only in the previous year. The amendments establish that the training obligation is considered fulfilled when the lawyer, in the year preceding the application for inclusion in the single national list or in the one preceding the request for permanence, has achieved at least no. 15 training credits, of which n. 3 in compulsory subjects.

Regulation of the training and professional updating course in criminal matters

Having formed multiple interpretations on the two-year requirement, to ensure homogeneity on the territory, the amendments provide that the course must take place over a period of twenty-four months. Having acknowledged that numerous certificates did not report the methods of carrying out the course, with the consequent impossibility of verifying compliance with the regulatory indications, it was made explicit that, in the event of passing the exam, the examining commission will have to issue a certificate where it must be specified that the course, lasting at least 90 hours, lasted two years and that the contents of the lessons comply with the subjects established in the uniform minimum model.

How to present the application for placement and permanence

It is envisaged that the Lawyer can complete, through the new IT management platform of the CNF, operational at the beginning of 2020, a declaration pursuant to articles 46 and 47 of Presidential Decree 445/2000 to certify the participation, also in the capacity of procedural substitute, in at least ten criminal hearings (trial or chamber of commerce) in the same calendar year, to which the request refers, excluding those of mere postponement and sorting hearings if no preliminary questions have been raised or, in the absence of these, the hearing has not been opened, and also in compliance with the limit which provides that no more than three hearings before the Justice of the Peace can be validly counted and more than two where the defender has been appointed pursuant to art. 97 c. IV cpp To facilitate the procedure, the application and self-certification forms for the applicants have been included in the management system, as well as the opinion models that the Bar Council is required to express on requests for registration and permanence.

Defense ex officio before the Supreme Court of Cassation

CNF and the Court of Cassation have elaborated a system for choosing the defender which allows the Court itself to extract the defender through a rotation algorithm, which also makes it possible to ensure that the defendants included in the list kept by the CNF can be selected in turn .

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