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Italy gets second woman supreme court head

Silvana Sciarra, 74, takes over two years after Cartabia

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 21 - Italy on Tuesday got its second woman supreme court head as 74-year-old Italy Silvana Sciarra was elected president of the Constitutional Court after current outgoing Justice Minister Marta Cartabia served a one-year term from 2019 to 2020.
    Sciarra, born in Trani in Puglia on 24 July 1948, was the first woman to be elected to the top court in 2014.
    Sciarra, a jurist and academic specializing in labour law, beat fellow female Constitutional Justice Daria De Pretis, 65, in the final ballot Tuesday.
    She beat administrative law specialist De Petris by one vote, by eight to seven, in the ballot to succeed former two-time premier Giuliano Amato who has retired after reaching the retirement age of 84.
    "I have the privilege of having white hair, perhaps the court wanted to reward the criterion of seniority," said Sciarra, who is nine years older than her rival De Pretis.
    The Constitutional Court president's main job is to ensure that laws and conduct comply with the postwar anti-fascist Italian Constitution.
    Sciarra taught European Labour and Social Law at the European University Institute between 1994 and 2003.
    She was a professor of labour law at the University of Florence and the University of Siena before being appointed to the Constitutional Court by the Italian Parliament on 6 November 2014. In the parliamentary election she obtained 630 out of a necessary 570 votes.
    She was sworn in on 11 November 2014.
    She this became the first woman elected by the Italian Parliament as a Judge of the Constitutional Court.
    Previously, she was a Harkness Fellow at UCLA and Harvard Law School (1974-1976).
    She was Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Professor in several Universities, among which Warwick (Leverhulme Professor), Columbia Law School (BNL Professor), Cambridge (where she held the Arthur Goodhart Chair in Legal Science 2006-2007), Stockholm, Lund, University College London.
    She holds Ph.D. Honoris Causa in Law at the Universities of Stockholm (2006) and Hasselt (2012) (ANSA).


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