Luciano Violante

Giuseppe Zanardelli Pier Ferdinando Casini Antimafia Commission
Luciano Violante
Luciano Violante.jpg
President of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
10 May 1996 – 31 May 2001
Preceded byIrene Pivetti
Succeeded byPier Ferdinando Casini
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
20 June 1979 – 28 April 2008
Personal details
Born (1941-09-25) 25 September 1941 (age 78)
Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Political partyCommunist Party (Before 1991)
Democratic Party of the Left (1991–1998)
Democrats of the Left (1998–2007)
Democratic Party (2007–present)
Alma materUniversity of Bari

Luciano Violante (born 25 September 1941) is an Italian judge and politician, Member of Parliament since 1979. He is particularly interested in questions of justice, the struggle against the Mafia and institutional reform.


Violante was born in Dire Dawa (Ethiopia). His father, a journalist and Communist, was forced to emigrate to Ethiopia by the fascist regime. His family was interned by the British in a concentration camp, where Violante was born and remained until 1943.

Graduated in jurisprudence at University of Bari in 1963, he joined the magistrature in 1966 and became professor of public law at University of Turin in 1970. Later he held the position of full professor at University of Camerino. He indicted Edgardo Sogno in 1974 for having planned the so-called Golpe bianco ("White coup"), but had to release him in 1978, declaring it impossible to prosecute him. From 1977 to 1979 he worked in the legislative office of the Ministry of Justice, primarily concerned with the struggle against terrorism. He was named investigative magistrate in Turin in 1979. In 1983 he became a professor of legal institutions and penal procedure and resigned from the magistrature.

Violante became a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) in 1979 and was immediately elected to the Parliament. From 1980 to 1987 he was the PCI spokesman for legal policy. He then became the vice-president of the PCI parliamentary group. Following the split of the PCI in 1991, he entered the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). He was a member of the Inquiry into the Aldo Moro case, of the Antimafia Commission, the parliamentary committee for the security services, the commission for the reform of the penal code, the Justice Commission and the Council for the Regulation of the House of Deputies.

Violante was President of the Antimafia Commission from September 1992 until March 1994. Under his leadership the Commission investigated the relations between the Mafia and politics, the so-called terzo livello (third level) of the Mafia. Important pentiti like Tommaso Buscetta, Antonio Calderone and Gaspare Mutolo gave testimonies about links of the Mafia with Christian Democrat politician Salvo Lima, the so-called "proconsul" of former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in Sicily.

On 16 November 1992 Tommaso Buscetta testified before the Antimafia Commission about the links between Cosa Nostra and Salvo Lima and Giulio Andreotti. He indicated Salvo Lima as the contact of the Mafia in Italian politics. "Salvo Lima was, in fact, the politician to whom Cosa Nostra turned most often to resolve problems for the organisation whose solution lay in Rome," Buscetta testified.[1]

Violante was elected president of the Chamber of Deputies on 10 May 1996 and remained in office until 29 May 2001. Re-elected at the 2001 election, he was named president of the Olive Tree-Democrats of the Left parliamentary group. Confirmed in his functions during the April 2006 election, he is currently the president of the Commission relative to constitutional matters.

Beside books on law and penal procedure, he is the author of two books of interviews about the Mafia: La mafia dell'eroina (1987) and I corleonesi (1993). He has also published: Il piccone e la quercia (1992); Non è la piovra (1995) and a poem, Cantata per i bambini morti di mafia (1995). He has been the editor of Dizionario delle istituzioni e dei diritti del cittadino (1996) and of three reports on the Mafia: Mafie e antimafia - Rapporto 1996; Mafia e società italiana - Rapporto 1997 and I soldi della mafia - Rapporto 1998. He also edited two volumes of the Annali della Storia d'Italia ("Annals of the History of Italy"): La criminalità (1997) and Legge Diritto Giustizia. In 1998 he published L'Italia dopo il 1999. La sfida per la stabilità (1998).

Luciano Violante considers himself "a believer" but he does not adhere to the Catholic Church.[2]


  1. ^ (in Italian) Audizione del collaboratore della giustizia Tommaso Buscetta
  2. ^ Soglio, Elisabetta (20 August 2017). "Violante: al Meeting di Cl si fa formazione, nei partiti non più –" (in Italian).