with the scientific collaboration of
ISSN 2611-8858



Pandemic and culpability

Text originally published in Italian on Sistema Penale, 26th April 2020. Translated, with the authorization of Sistema Penale, by Fernando Londoño Martínez, associate professor at the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile

The Path of Decriminalisation of Medical Error

The “Mariotti” case constitutes a turning point in the use of criminal law to punish health professionals who have caused death or bodily harms by negligence. However, the status of criminalisation of medical negligence laid out by this decision is quite different from what could have been imagined before the two reforms adopted in the last few years, which aimed to reduce the relevance of criminal responsibility for medical malpractice. Starting from the decline of modern medicine and from the judicial over-exposure of practitioners, the essay critically reviews the key steps in the path of decriminalisation of medical error. At the end of the analysis, the author argues that the heritage of these reforms, despite their shortcomings, might be a new “legal culture” of prosecutions for medical negligence, rather than an actual decriminalisation of medical malpractice.

Self-driving Cars and Criminal Law

Autonomous driving is and increasing phenomenon in several countries and recently it has involved Italy too. This paper aims to provide a general picture of the potential future intersections between the said phenomenon and the criminal law.

The Usage of Smartphones While Driving and The Road/Traffic-Related Crimes of Manslaughter and Personal Negligence-Based Injuries: the Assessment of Negligence in Court Through the So-Called Log Files.

The increasing phenomenon of IT distractions for drivers made inevitable, in the event of accidents involving people, checking the smartphone in addition to other crash measurements. Some Italian Prosecutor Offices issued guidelines in order to avoid any abuse by the police, without prejudice to the assessment of criminal liability for the road/traffic-related offences of manslaughter and personal negligence-based injuries. In the said scenario, the log file can be useful, being a digital document self-generated by a device where all the operations performed with it by the driver are recorded over the time. The log files, even in instant messaging apps, have an investigation focus limited to if and when the smartphone or a single app were used, without an overall view of the information storage. It is still controversial, in turn, how to acquire such data, especially because the case law seems to forget the volatility and unreliability of digital evidence.

Il lato oscuro della rappresentazione: riflessioni sulla colpa con previsione alla luce della sentenza Schettino

The criminal case on the sinking of the cruise ship “Costa Concordia” is crucial in shaping the notion of the most blameworthy kind of criminal negligence under the Italian law (namely, when the defendant foresees the consequence of the misconduct) in order to distinguish it from the ordinary criminal negligence – on the ‘lower’ side – and from the dolus eventualis – on the ‘upper’ side –. The paper focuses not only on the above notions, but also on the case-law stemmed from the Supreme Court of Cassation – Joint Criminal Branches – in the “ThyssenKrupp” case.