The power of judges and the default of politics. Since 1861 the High Court of Magistrates has been part of the top level of the Italian state. It was the task of the Court to turn into jurisprudence the great bourgeois laws, when Italy was still rural and old regime. However the judges held power: internally, as the High Court ruled judicial careers; and externally, because judges protected their privileges. Fascism restricted the liberty of judges, but at the same time allowed them to retain their power of control of careers. In the post-war Republic, the judges discovered the newborn Constitution only in the 1950s and started to defend it. In more recent times, the judges have taken a leading role in the three "emergencies": against terrorism, mafia, and corruption. In all three of these situations they have acted as proxies, given the lack of accountability of politicians.
Keywords: Judicial power, careers, judicial sentences, emergencies, High Court of Magistrates.