Senato

For centuries the sovereign courts of the Duchy of Savoy were based on the venerable curia of the counts of Savoy. During the French occupation of the duchy from 1536 to 1559, these courts were reconstituted on the model of the parlements. When Emanuele Filliberto was restored as duca di Savoia, he retained many of the French reforms, renaming them Senates in tribute to the Romans. Like the French parlements, the Senates register ducal edicts and provide the highest court of appeals – short of the duke himself – in the duchy. Unlike the parlements, however, the Senates tend to be more supportive of the dukes’s desires.

There are three Senates in the duchy. The first is the Senato di Savoia, in Chambéry, the oldest of the sovereign courts, the Senato di Piemonte in Torino, and, as of 1619, the Senato di Nizza, in the contea di Nizza. Each senate includes a two to four presidents (presidente) presiding over its chambers and the other magistrates and ushers who make up the court.


Senato

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