Captivating consensus: legitimation strategies of Italian administrative courts

The statement of the reasons for a judgement does not only have intra-procedural recipients : its purpose is to also allow the very people in whose name justice is administered to verify the soundness of its administration. The paper aims to analyze the strategies used by Italian administrative courts as a means to strengthen the public’s consensus in their rulings. Italian administrative Courts have tried to improve the effectiveness of judicial protection and the fairness of their judgements by using a pedagogical approach in the explanation of the measures necessary to a proper protection of the claimant’s subjective situation. This approach led to the emergence of consequentialist reasoning, which is increasingly used to justify both the refusal to apply a given provision – based on the projection of the unfair consequences its implementation could bring – and the creation of an alternative rule to replace the undesirable one.