Subject: the course aims to reflect on the available means for reconstructing the facts in civil proceedings, analyzing the related systematic structures and application procedures. First, a point of balance will be defined between the powers of magistrates and the powers of the parties based on the facts that can be adduced in the process, clearly defining the sphere of application of the prohibition to use special knowledge and the limits imposed by the principle of the right to bring proceedings. The course will thus analyze the “lawful” ways through which magistrates are able to gain knowledge and assess the narration of the facts submitted by the parties or in any case set out in the documents to the case other than formal allegations. For the purpose, an in-depth study will be conducted on the characteristics of the various means of proof, as well as any further means for determining the facts, from the formal one, such as failure to contest, to those subject to the prudent assessment of the court, such as indicative evidence and expert reports. An in-depth analysis of the distinction between ascertaining the facts in the proceedings with full cognizance and ascertaining the facts in applications for interim relief is also important. Lastly, the course will also consider the relationship between the magistrate’s powers of inquiry and the principles of impartiality of the same magistrate and adversarial procedure.
Objectives: the aim of the course is to make magistrates increasingly aware of the means made available to them, explicitly or implicitly, by the legal system for reconstructing the facts in the process, identifying the areas where the same magistrates may or may not use their own discretion.
Structure and methodology: bulky face-to-face presentations on the classical, although always topical themes, with special emphasis on the legislative developments in the subject. Setting up work groups to discuss specific issues and experiences.
Candidates: civil magistrates of first instance and high court.