The Consiglio Nazionale Forense (National Bar Council or CNF) is the public institution representing lawyers in Italy.
Royal Legislative Decree No. 1578 of 27 November and Royal Decree No. 37 of 22 January 1934 establish the C.N.F. under Italian Law and define its structure and functions.
Pursuant to the applicable legislative provisions, the C.N.F. is based in Rome and has it seat by the Minister of Justice. It is formed by 26 members (one for each district of Court of Appeal).
The C.N.F. members are elected among the lawyers admitted to practice before the supreme jurisdictions in Italy. Their mandate lasts for three years and is renewable (the current mandate shall expire on 27 July 2010 but the current members will stay in office until the new concil is appointed).
The President, the two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary and the Treasurers are elected within the C.N.F. by its members.
A regulation governs the functioning of the C.N.F.. The following are its main competences: • Jurisdiction (appeal): the C.N.F. has the competence for reviewing the decisions adopted by local Bars on disciplinary matters, the keeping of the register of lawyer’ register and the local bar elections; • Keeping of the register of lawyers (Albo degli Avvocati) admitted to practice before the supreme jurisdictions; • Consultative function on draft laws and regulations having a direct or indirect impact on the legal profession.
The C.N.F. is also consulted on the dissolution of the local bars (Consigli degli Ordini), designates the members of the boards for the professional examination, approves and coordinates the programmes of the law schools and drafts, proposes and updates the professional fee-scheme.
The C.N.F is, at the same time, the body representing the legal profession and a public administration to whom the law confers jurisdictional and administrative powers.
In this historical moment, the C.N.F., similarly to other organisation in the European region, directs its efforts to ensuring that Italian lawyers meet the necessary levels of quality and respect high ethical standards
The C.N.F. is present in all the organisations representing lawyers at the international level (CCBE -UIA): it has representatives in Brussels, Paris and London and keeps contacts with the legal professions at the global level. Its representatives are active in all the most relevant legal committees in Italy and abroad.
The C.N.F. publishes a quarterly journal of legal culture and doctrine (Rassegna Forense) and, every two months, a review with news on the profession (Attualità Forensi). It also promotes other editorial initiatives such as the “Quaderni della Rassegna Forense”.
The current President of the Consiglio Nazionale Forense is Piero Guido Alpa.