POLI 330 Lecture Notes - Selective Prosecution, Judiciary Of Spain, Influence Peddling

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2 Oct 2014
Lecture 24
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Overwhelming interpretation of the Manipulite was that the judiciary was extremely
brave in that it stood up for Italian law and democracy
Seen as the judiciary encroaching on politicians in a good way
Judiciary intervened to clean up the political system
Question: why they waited 40 years to engage in this kind of clean up campaign?
oWhy didn't they take the fight to the end?
oIn the end there were many investigations but few convictions
Several competing interpretations of the episode and how it emerged
oStrategic defection story that is a theory that has not been formulated to
explain the Italian defense, its formulated to explain the Argentinian supreme
court over the last several decades but is relevant to Italy
As it becomes clearer over time that a given government is going to
lose power, the judiciary has a greater incentive to start challenging the
incumbents because they expect that the incumbents will soon be out
of power and the judiciary starts considering the preferences and
potential interests of the future incumbents who succeed the current
ones  strategically defect from the current incumbents in favour of the
future incumbents
Start giving an increasing number of decisions going against the
current incumbents as they begin to lose power
Rats that are jumping off a sinking ship
Evidence of the theory explaining the timing of the events and how
they unfolded
Ship = Italian political system post-WWII
Ship was about to be sunk by the end of the Cold War era (EU
pressure, recession, etc.) because the Christian Democrats and
Socialists lost their argument to gain the support of the Italians
out of the Communist camp and to their camp
When the argument was removed, it was no longer plausible
and no longer motivated Italian electors to vote for the CD and
Socialists therefore there was the emergence of the Northern
League and demonstrators showing they were fed up with the
constant scandals
The argument is that the end of the Italian Republic and the
collapse of the 2 parties, leading to electoral change, wasn't
caused by the corruption charges but the judiciary was the first
to jump off the ship that was about to be sunk
Judges jumped at the opportunity to maximize their power to increase
their legitimacy and potentially prevent backlash against them by
future incumbents who may start looking for responsibility for why the
system of corruption thrived for so long
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To prevent backlash, they seized the opportunity to defect
The Manipulite team got to the big fish only when they saw the clear
signal that the CDs and Socialists were going down
The anti-corruption investigation only went into high gear after
it was likely they weren’t going to survive
The big political figures weren’t tried until the late 90s
Nothing was outstandingly great about the judiciary going on the
campaign  it was following events instead of leading them
oManipulite incident is seen as a judicial vendetta against the established
parties for curtailing the judicial power in a series of judicial reforms in 1989
Parties instituted amendments to the criminal code that some have
argued have encroached the power of the judiciary
Manipulite was an institutional vendetta by the judicial branch against
the executive branch and legislative branch for adopting these changes
oManipulite campaign represented communist leaning judges on a partisan
offensive against the CDs and Socialists who were the political foes of the
communist party
Argues that the weakening of the political establishment at the end of
the cold war allowed the commie judges to sink their teeth into their
political opponents
Partisan offensive by the judiciary evidence that is emphasized is that
the Manipulite campaign was concentrated within the Milan group of
prosecutors who named themselves the Manipulite team
Wasn't a well coordinated campaign by the entire judiciary, but the
Milan group single-mindedly pursuing this campaign
Milan group were sympathizers with the Communist party
Manipulite team received information that alleged widespread
violations of campaign finance laws by the Communist party as well
but they ignored it? This has been alleged
Individuals detained and held in pre-trial detention started supplying
more information to make others supply information as they saw it
become an avalanche, thus preferring to be the first ones to give the
In the rush to supply information about all sorts of corrupt schemes,
there was a lot of info about corruption in the Communist party that
made it to the Manipulite team that they chose to ignore and didn’t
pursue it
Politicization of justice?
oJudiciary was used as an instrument of the Communist party still in opposition
but gaining prominence
oJudiciary became a partisan actor instead of a impartial actor in adjudicating
Spanish Judiciary in Corruption Investigations
In the 90s as well
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