In the Middle Ages, natural intelligence was partly banned and persecuted. The Italian data protection authority followed this example in March 2023 and first banned artificial intelligence. It is common knowledge that the ban on intelligence did not hold in the Middle Ages either. Now AI is everywhere, making work easier for many and yet spreading general unease - and rightly so. But maybe it really is just a new tool and it depends on the user. We wish all users a peaceful and responsible approach!
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Germany and Italy have always cross-fertilised and complemented each other in legal policy - it does not look as if this will change in the foreseeable future. It is an interesting competition between the two legal systems in some areas of law, for which there has been an arbiter in Luxembourg for 70 years: The ECJ. Here is an example:
In our grandparents' era, only the Grim Reaper could end an Italian marriage. Divorce in Italian" (see also the film with Stefania Sandrelli and Marcello Mastroianni) did not mean formal proceedings, but pure bloodshed. Many Italian couples who wanted to separate looked enviously to Germany.
Today it's the other way round. Italian divorce seekers do not even have to go to a judge to get divorced; the registrar is perfectly sufficient, and their "divorce light" must now be recognised by the German state (see ECJ judgment of 15.11.2022, Case C-646-20).
Nevertheless: For the Christmas holidays, we wish neither the Italian, nor the German, and certainly not the mixed couples any intentions of separation! Stay together!Download PDF — 2 MB
The means to deal with the energy crisis are still being sought in Italy; in Germany two original ideas have been implemented. Firstly, the mineral oil tax was temporarily reduced by € 0.30 to relieve consumers of the rapidly rising petrol prices. However, instead of choosing a voucher system that would have directly benefited the consumer, the tax burden of the mineral oil companies was reduced in the naive hope that they would pass the tax reduction on to the consumer. Petrol prices then did not fall significantly, but the profits of the mineral oil companies increased considerably. There was rare agreement between government and opposition that this attempt had failed. The second interesting idea is the introduction of a 9 euro monthly ticket for absolutely everyone, with which all train traffic in the Federal Republic - with the exception of express trains - can be used. More than 7 million tickets have already been sold. It remains to be seen with excitement whether this will be a real first step from individual transport to public transport. The experiment is initially limited to 3 months.Download PDF — 569 KB
At the last minute, we are able to report that the major Italian civil procedure reform was passed by the Chamber of Deputies on 25 November 2021. In part, the German civil procedure was the inspiration (see below, News from Italy). In part, there are many innovative approaches that are intended to relieve the judiciary and could also be a model for Germany, such as mandatory out-of-court mediation in many areas of law. The primary goal is to significantly reduce the duration of litigation. In Italy, a civil case took 7.3 years (2656 days) in 2018; the ministry hopes for a reduction of about 40%; it would then still be 1593 days for a civil case.Download PDF — 1,019 KB
Difficult, difficult! When the First Client Letter appeared, the world seemed healthier and the judiciary more peaceful. Today, the world is heated and the judiciary is bursting at the seams: both in Germany (Federal Constitutional Court) and in the Netherlands (Hague District Court), the executive is being ordered to act. Not a very good sign when we lawyers (!) have to save the world. But whatever happens, we are ready...Download PDF — 479 KB
The ambitious goal of this issue was to not even mention Corona or Covid19 . We didn't quite make it, as some areas of law - such as insurance law or family law - are currently dominated by C19 . The pandemic will soon be overcome, what is questionable are the late effects. We fear a world in which everything takes place on the couch. The Amazon boom will possibly further lead to the desolation of cities.... But we are optimistic. At the end of the pandemic, all the people will come out onto the streets, populate the cities, and shop for real again instead of online. That's the way it should be!Download PDF — 1 MB
Frederick the Great would have liked legal Tech (see Information for Colleagues, p.6). He was suspicious of any judicial discretionary decision. In his code of laws with over 29,000 paragraphs, everything was to be conclusively regulated and derived directly from the law. With such a database, every case would have to be solved automatically. Covid 19, for example, shows that something completely new can arise that could not be regulated beforehand. It is not the pandemic itself that is new, but the positive reaction of the state. In the past, as recently as the last 1950s with Asian flu, people just died, most of them at home. So let's be glad to live in our age and creatively tackle the legal problems that arise with genuine common sense (human tech)!Download PDF — 1,012 KB
This year there was 70 years of the Basic Law to celebrate. Article 1 reads, "Human dignity is inviolable." This provision is very topical in the age of the Internet, both in Italy and in Germany. A regional court in Berlin has ruled that it is a sign of freedom of expression for a deserving politician to be subjected to the very worst insults imaginable for a woman. At the same time, the former Italian interior minister is anything but restrained in his choice of words when he seeks adjectives for the current members of the government. In the movies of the fifties of the last century, children's ears were covered during such cannonades. A certain nostalgia is spreading among the editorial team members of the client letter, who are no longer dewy-eyed.Download PDF — 561 KB