After a period of experimentation, the Italian police forces will be equipped with the electric “taser” gun. The Author discusses the usage of such weapon in the United States and the consequent problems they had to address. Then, she reconstructs the European Court of Human Rights case-law on the excessive use of force by the State, especially with regard to the taser. In the end, the Author expresses doubts regarding the constitutionality of the italian legislation that introduced electric-weapons and questions its compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights.
This article examines limits and problems, in both operational and legal terms, posed by the reference to the criminal excuse contained in article 53 of the Italian penal code to regulate the use of force by law enforcement officers. In order to overcome such limits and problems, this article recommends to integrate the aforesaid criminal excuse with a body of administrative rules of conduct, to be adopted by the institutions concerned and including tactics compiled along the same lines as the military rules of engagement. By illustrating the benefits of such an approach, this article demonstrates that it stems from the principles elaborated by the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations.