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ISSN 2611-8858


Foreseeability of Judicial Decisions

Notes on the Libertarian Ground of Criminal Penalty

The paper illustrates the reasons according to which all the stages of criminal justice system are grounded on the so-called ‘negative’ general prevention and the libertarian limits to such a goal, so that the justification of criminal penalty can be defined libertarian in turn.

So It Is (If You Like). Looking for the Criminal Provision Face, between Uncertain Legal Texts and Unforeseeable Case-Law

The paper aims to define the contents and the features of foreseeability, poiting out the normative factors undermining its implementation. Foreseeing criminal law consequences of one’s behaviour cannot be, for any individual, simply a mathematical calculation, but on the other hand it cannot become – as often happens – a sort of prophecy. After the introduction, two examples of non-foreseeability of criminal liability will be offered, in the area of financial crime. Having touched the poor quality of criminal provisions in an area where typical and atypical domestic and international legal sources are more interrelated, some remedies will be outlined in order to ensure foreseeability of criminal liability, both from a comparative perspective and from the very nature of domestic nullum crimen sine lege.

The Influence of European Precedents on Procedural National Law

The ECHR and the Treaties of the European Union do not attribute an erga omnes binding value to the precedents of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Moreover, the introduction in our system of the Anglo-American doctrine of stare decisis would be in radical conflict with the principle of subjection of the judge to the parliamentary law provided by art. 101 paragraph 2 of the Italian Constitution. This does not exclude that the European precedents, as products of highly authoritative courts, have the maximum persuasive value. Such strength, however, is subject to a series of conditions, which do not serve to block the gates of the national system, but perform a function of dialectical opposition that is indispensable for the progressive improvement of European law.

Constitutional Legality, Conventional legality and judge-made law

The increasing relevance of case-law in criminal trials through art. 7 ECHR put several issues in civil law systems, that are primally founded on statutory laws according to their constitutional traditions. Notwithstanding the influence of European Court of Human Rights did not equate statutory law with judge-made law in such systems of law, relevance of case-law in criminal trials cannot be denied. Otherwise, irretroactivity and lex mitior retroactivity principles would be thwarted. As a result, judge-made law and statutory lawstill remain unequated when case-law is not well-established, but they should be considered equal in extraordinary cases, such as absolutely unforeseeable overruling in malam partem and overruling in bonam partem by united chambers of Supreme Court of Cassation

Objective, Subjective and Evolutionary in Foreseeability of the Judicial Decision Between European Jurisprudence and Our Own Judgments

The principle of foreseeability of the judicial decision constitutes, as known, an addition of European legality. Through a meticulous research of case- law, however, appear different meanings of this principle, as a matter of fact, it seems to be possible to identify three possible defining criteria respect to which the role of the jurisprudential contrast and the qualified precedent also changes. This plurality of forms is also reflected in the European jurisprudence and in our own jurisprudence. We must ask ourselves about the object, about the parameters and especially on the limits of the predictability to relate in a realistic perspective and to the legal classification of the fact and to the relative sanctioning treatment rather than to the judicial outcome exposed to infinite variables, these are unpredictable.

Bruno Contrada’s “ Younger Brothers” Ahead the Court of Cassation

In this decision, the Court of Cassation considers the difficult issue regarding the specific implications of the application of the judgment in Contrada v. Italy on Italian legal system, which denied Marcello Dell’Utri the opportunity to invoke the principles of law enshrined therein in order to obtain the quashing of his conviction pursuant to art. 673 c.p.p. The court thus construed the binding force of the European judgment narrowly with regard to the “younger brothers” of the victorious applicant, i.e. all persons who, whilst not having applied directly to Strasbourg, assert that they have suffered the same violation already recognized by the ECtHR. This case requires us to consider once again the most appropriate procedural mechanisms for ensuring compliance with the obligation to abide by the final judgments of the European Court imposed on the States under art. 46 ECHR; at the same time however, it invites us to reflect on the real need for an erga omnes extension of the Contrada judgment’s ratio decidendi, read in the light of the wider context of Strasbourg case law concerning the nullum crimen principle.

Case Law in Criminal Cases

This article analyses the concept, current developments and paradigmatic examples of criminal law case law, in relation to topics such as case law as a source of law, the doctrine of precedent, and the implications of the nullum crimen in the continental legal systems. The research investigates the category of unlawful interpretation through the violation of the principle of non-retroactive application of unpredictable, but legitimate, case law . A special attention is devoted to those cases that are not covered by such principle (realisation and individualization of the law, or otherwise a hidden analogy) and on those cases that are subjected to it according to the different influence of the discipline of mistake of law and to the nomophylactic role of the United Divisions of the Italian Court of Cassation and to the supreme courts in general. In conclusion, the article presents an updated reconstruction of the relationship between predictability of case law and judicial syllogism.

Irretroattività sfavorevole e reati d’evento “lungo-latente”

Il contributo prende le mosse da una recente pronuncia della Cassazione che, per risolvere una questione di successione di norme penali nel tempo, ha fissato il tempus commissi delicti di un omicidio colposo in corrispondenza della verificazione dell’evento letale, ed ha perciò applicato una pena più severa di quella vigente al momento – assai più risalente – in cui l’imputato aveva posto in essere la condotta causalmente rilevante. L’Autore critica la soluzione abbracciata dalla Suprema Corte alla luce del principio costituzionale di irretroattività in malam partem, nonché dell’omologo principio sancito dall’art. 7 della Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo. A quest’ultimo proposito, viene prospettata la possibilità di presentare un ricorso alla Corte di Strasburgo, finalizzato ad ottenere l’accertamento della violazione e la successiva rideterminazione della pena in executivis.

Antiformalismo interpretativo: il pollo di Russell e la stabilizzazione del precedente giurisprudenziale

Muovendo da alcune recenti pronunce delle Corti interna ed europea, l’Autrice evidenzia la problematicità del concetto di “prevedibilità dell’esito giudiziario” e della tendenza ad attribuire efficacia vincolante ai precedenti dei giudici europei. Sottolinea, per contro, l’esigenza di un approccio di tipo ermeneutico, volto ad esplicitare i presupposti assiologici e le conseguenze delle differenti opzioni interpretative.