The Italian Implementation of the EU Directives on Procedural Safeguards for Accused Persons in Criminal Proceedings
The Cross-Justice research project
Linking substantive criminal law and procedural notions offers an interesting, and yet mostly unexplored, point of view. It can be argued that the idea according to which criminal procedure is a mere tool to enforce substantive criminal law must be revisited. There are good reasons to claim that the evolution of the general theory of crime has been driven, relevantly or exclusively, by the need to facilitate the reach of a certain evidentiary standard in practice. The subsequent changes of criminal law notions like dolus, offender, limits in the omission, causation crisis and development of objective imputation, as well as other concepts, produced the (unlikely casual) consequence a facilitation in the trial fact finding. If the above is correct, then an interesting debate on the ethical foundation of such evolution can be started.
The article aims to evaluate an eventual express regulation of the harm principle in the future Chilean Constitution. The article starts by examining the background, meaning and regulation of this principle. Then, it addresses its relationship with other principles that limit the ius puniendi, as well as the importance of its regulation as an autonomous principle. Likewise, the text refers to the harm principle as the basis of an adequate legislative technique in criminal matters. The article concludes that an explicit regulation of this principle in the new Chilean Constitution, through an immediate and clear formulation, would be a great step forward, among other things due to its character of limiting the action of both the legislator and the judge in the punitive field.