Are Diamonds Eternal? The Duration of the Administrative Procedure

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All man’s actions take time, and that of the State is no exception. Even less when it comes to imposing a sanction, because it is especially in these cases in which it is necessary to allow the sanctioned person the opportunity to defend himself adequately, and that takes time: because the individual must have the possibility of controlling the actions of the State in the administrative Procedure. However, there are situations in which the file sleeps the sleep of the just and the procedure extends for years. Within this framework, in recent years the jurisprudence of the Contentious Administrative Tribunal (“the TCA”) has undergone a healthy change: where there is no pre-determined period for the duration of the procedure, it must be reasonable anyway in light of the circumstances of the case, its complexity and other factors; When, based on that weighting, the duration of the procedure seems unreasonably excessive, the act arising from that procedure must be annulled.

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