Measuring (the Effects of) Measurements: Four Global Legal Indicators in Italy

by Marta Infantino

Taking Italy as a case study, the paper aims to investigate the effects that global legal indicators – that is, quantitative collections of data purporting to compare and rank states’ performances with regard to an array of legal issues – might have on domestic legal systems. To this purpose, the paper examines the changes brought to the Italian legal framework by four selected indicators: the ‘Freedom in the World’ Reports published by Freedom House, the ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’ annually released by Transparency International, the US Department of State’s ‘Trafficking in Persons’ Reports and the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ Reports. As the analysis will show, these indicators have variedly penetrated the Italian legal domain and have concurred with other hard and soft law instruments in promoting reform agendas, sets of arguments and beliefs, as well quantitative approaches to legal phenomena. While more can be done to understand the outcomes of global legal indicators, the study provides an empirical basis for the claim that global indicators have legal strings attached and fully deserve lawyers’ attention.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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