"Italian magistrates have walked out of courts across the country in protest against changes to the legal system proposed by Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister, and the language he has used to describe members of the legal profession."
I will begin with the article's title: "Italian judicary stages walkout." This article was likely translated from Arabic to English for wider distribution on Al-Jazeera's English website. One issue that arises from translating is the occasional misspelling. Unfortunately, this one happens to be right in the title with the word "judicary" which should be spelled "judiciary."
As for the lead:
The lead takes a hard news approach but fails at grabbing attention as well as it could. There are a few words I would have left out like "have," "the prime minister," and "has." Also, "members of the legal profession" seems cumbersome.
This lead appeals to prominence and conflict news values. It is clear the Italian magistrates are upset since they staged a walkout but the motivation behind it was a man of prominence, the prime minister of Italy. This protest also gives rise to a conflict that would be of interest to Italians. If this lead were used by Italian news organizations it would also pull a proximity appeal to its readers.
The lead cites "changes to the legal system" as the reason for the walkout but further into the article the reader discovers there is more to the story. The prime minister had been trying to make it illegal for him to be tried while in office so he could avoid fraud related charges that could have added more trials to his history.
An important detail in this lead is that it the walkout involved magistrates from all over the country, which carries a lot more impact. If only the magistrates from Sicily walked out there might not have been as big of an article written for the news.
It seems as though the reporter chose to go from a very neutral standpoint on this news item, which reads in the lead's language. The lead does not come off as accusatory toward the prime minister, which is a sign of a good reporter who does not impart his personal views into his or her work.