The Italian judicial geography, which has remained essentially unchanged since the time of the unification of Italy, underwent a significant transformation with the reform contained in Law no. 148 of 2011 and its implementing decrees no. 155 and 156 of 2012. In detail, the Italian Legislative Decree no. 155 of 2012 established the removal of 31 first instance courts and of 220 sub-sections. Focusing on these first instance courts, this is an empirical work aimed at analyzing the expected impact of this policy, both in terms of technical efficiency and access to the public services. On the one hand, adopting the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), the author tests the hypothesis of economies of specialization, supporting the main target of the reform. On the other one, the author analyses the impact of the courts’ jurisdiction on litigation, i.e. the expected impact of the reform on the demand of justice. Taking the technical efficiency into account, the results confirm the positive impact of the reform. At the same time, the results suggest an expected reduction of the demand of civil justice, which might be due to the courts’ access. However, considering the policy maker’s approach in the detection of the suppressed first instance courts, there are opportunities to improve the analyzed policy.
Keywords: Judicial geography, judicial efficiency, litigiousness, courts
Jel Code: J44, H41, K41