In the context of its activities, the firm is specialised in disciplinary proceedings, especially those carried out by magistrates. Under section 1 of Legislative Decree 109/2006, magistrates must carry out the duties entrusted to them impartially, properly, diligently, actively, confidentially and in a balanced manner, and must respect personal dignity in exercising their duties. The law considers that magistrates may commit disciplinary offences in the performance of their job and outside the performance of their job.
The first category includes conduct that breaches their duty under section 1, causing unjust harm or undue benefit to one of the parties, habitually or seriously incorrect conduct, serious breaches of law caused by inexcusable ignorance or negligence, issuing sanctions without due cause, repeated or serious failure to comply with regulations or the rules governing judicial service or organisational and information services.
The second group includes: using their title of magistrate in order to obtain undue benefits for themselves or others, frequenting people subject to criminal proceedings or preventive measures, taking on extra-judicial duties without the required authorisation of the Higher Judiciary Council (CSM), carrying out activities incompatible with their judicial role, directly or indirectly obtaining loans or benefits from entities that the magistrate knows to be parties or under investigation in criminal or civil proceedings before the judicial office to which he or she belongs or other offices.
Disciplinary offences do not apply when the fact is insignificant. Disciplinary offences that are a consequence of a crime include deeds where there has been an irrevocable sentence or a plea bargain in the cases under section 4 of the decree and any fact that constitutes a crime that could damage the magistrate’s image, even if the crime has expired for any reason or the criminal action cannot be initiated or continued.
Magistrates acting in breach of their duties are subject to the following disciplinary sanctions: a) a caution, b) a reprimand, c) loss of seniority, d) temporary suspension from managerial or semi-managerial duties, e) suspension from their duties for between three months and two years and f) dismissal.
When applying a penalty other than a caution or dismissal, the disciplinary section of the CSM may arrange the magistrate to be transferred to another location or office when, due to their conduct, remaining in the same location or office would negatively impinge on the proper administration of justice. Where there are serious grounds for disciplinary action and reasons for action to be taken as a matter of urgency, the disciplinary section of the CSM may arrange the transfer to another location or assign the magistrate to other duties as a temporary precautionary measure.