Paola Severino

Paola Severino
Minister of Justice
In office
16 November 2011  28 April 2013
Prime Minister Mario Monti
Preceded by Nitto Francesco Palma
Succeeded by Anna Maria Cancellieri
Personal details
Born (1948-10-22) 22 October 1948
Naples, Italy
Political party Independent
Alma mater Sapienza University

Paola Severino (born 22 October 1948) was Italy's minister of justice in the Monti cabinet from November 2011 to April 2013. She is the first woman appointed minister of justice in Italy.[1][2] On October 3, 2016, she was nominated rector of Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli.[3]

Early life and education

Severino was born in Naples in 1948.[1] She studied law at La Sapienza University of Rome and graduated in 1971.[1]


Severino began her career as a researcher at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Council of Research) in 1972, and worked there until 1975.[1] She then worked as an assistant professor at La Sapienza from 1975 to 1987. Later she began to work at Perugia University and taught penal commercial law at the Faculty of Economics. She was appointed vice president of the Superior Council of Military Magistracy in 1997. She was the first Italian woman appointed this post.[1] Her tenure lasted until 2002. In addition, Severino worked with Giovanni Maria Flick, former President of the Italian Constitutional Court.[1]

She is among top criminal lawyers in Italy.[1] One of her clients was the former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.[4][5] Other prominent individual clients of Severino include Cesare Geronzi and Francesco Caltagirone whom she defended in the Cirio trial.[5] Italian energy giant Eni was another client of Severino.[6]

She served as the head of the department of law at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome from 2003 to 2006.[7] Before her appointment as minister of justice, she was working as a professor of penal law at the School for Carabinieri Officers and a Pro-Rector Vicar at LUISS Guido Carli University.[1]

She was appointed minister of justice on 16 November 2011. Her income in 2011 was more than seven million euros, making her the top rich minister in the Monti cabinet.[8] Her tenure ended in April 2013.[9] Anna Maria Cancellieri replaced her as justice minister.[10]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Giuliani, Frencesca (9 May 2012). "Italian Minister of Justice Paola Severino To Visit the US Next Week". i-Italy. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  2. Hooper, John (16 November 2011). "Mario Monti's technocrats: profiles of the new Italian cabinet". The Guardian. Rome. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  4. Roe, Alex (17 November 2011). "March of the Technocrats: Italy's Mario Monti's Ministers". Italy Chronicles. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  5. 1 2 Francesca Giuliani (16 November 2011). "The Who's Who of the Monti Government". i-Italy. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  6. "Q&A: Monti's technocratic government for Italy". BBC. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  7. "Severino Is First Woman to Lead Ministry Of Justice". Review Italy. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  8. Squires, Nick (22 February 2012). "Italian austerity government full of millionaires". The Telegraph. Rome. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  9. "Italy's new cabinet lineup". Xinhua. Rome. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  10. "Italian cabinet comes together". Euronews. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Nitto Francesco Palma
Italian Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Anna Maria Cancellieri
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