with the scientific collaboration of
ISSN 2611-8858


Presumption of innocence

The Relationship Between Criminal Proceedings and the Media in the Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights

The present article is aimed at assessing a number of key judgments delivered by the European Court of Human Rights which touch upon the relationship between criminal proceedings and the media. On the one hand, it will identify which rights are affected, while on the other hand it will explore the manner in which such rights may enter into conflict with other rights or collective interests. Particular emphasis is placed on how the Court conducts the balancing exercise between the different interests at stake in the following areas: statements to the press and press conferences held by public officials with regard to pending criminal proceedings; the release to the press, by public authorities, of images of individuals under investigation; leaks concerning investigation activities.

Criminal Justice in the Prism of Information Rules of Procedure and Deforming Refractions

The article provides a critical illustration of the rules governing the confidentiality and limits of the publication of criminal proceedings. Recognition is conducted in the light of the problems that the Italian experience has now emerged. The delicate problems associated with the interplay of interests at stake (individual confidentiality, protection of inquiry, procedural fairness) make up the plot. The final paragraph is devoted to a synthetic design of imaginable solutions by trying to overcome the current, unsatisfactory practices.

Protection Under Criminal Law of the Confidentiality of the Investigation: for a Democratic Control over the Judiciary

The ineffectiveness that characterizes the current legal protection of the confidentiality of the investigation seems to be a consequence, not of the defect of the tools in use, but rather of the transformation that involves the implicatede interests: the right of information aimed at a democratic control over the judiciary is destined to prevail over the public and the private interests affected by the investigations. Since a balance between right to information and right to reputation can only be achieved case by case, the main issues are related to the breach of the confidentiality due to the activity of the “custodians”, which needs to be prevented not only - and not so much - by increasing the penalties, but also and more realistically by impeding ambiguous relations between the judiciary and the press. Therefore, the press should be allowed to freely access to acts no longer covered by the secret, with benefits for the journalistic activity itself, as regards the respect of the limitation of “procedural truth”.

Criminal Justice and Information on Crime: Comparative Hints for the Italian Debate

The topic of the problematic relationship between criminal justice and mass media is certainly not only typical of the Italian legal system. In the following paper we try then to look at this topic in a comparative perspective, by analyzing the legal sources, the caselaw and the legal scholarship. The analyses is limited to some key civil law legal system – France, Spain and Germany – and especially to the substantive criminal law aspects, in particular the criminal responsibility of the journalists in cases of violation of the investigative secret and on the criminal restorative measures in cases of “mass media trial”.

The "Victim" in the "Mass Media Trial": Restorative Measures

At the heart of the phenomenon at this point known as “mass media trial” there is the clash, difficult to overcome, between conflicting rights: on the one side the right of information on criminal matters, and, on the other, the different rights of the people subjected to it (privacy, presumption of innocence), in addition to more general interests to the impartiality of the trial. In this paper we present some restorative measures that should be granted to the people that are subjected to “mass media trial”, both in the case in which they are convicted and in the case in which they are acquitted: in the first case, we suppose in the first place a deserved mitigation of the punishment, that acknowledges the double “legal suffering” endured in the “parallel proceeding” occurred on television and newspapers; in the second case, we advance the introduction of correction obligations that the judge should impose to the media, starting with the obligation to publish the judgment of acquittal, in addition to restorative/ compensatory measures at the expense of the State.

Brief Notes on the Correlation Between Criminal Justice and Journalistic Activities

The paper is based on the work of the research group led by the Department of Legal Studies of the University of Florence on the topic of "Criminal Justice and Journalistic Activities" and it is aimed at summarizing the main issues related to the many interests involved and their possible balancing. Based on the assumption that it is necessary to overcome the contradiction between the existing, but totally ineffective, laws and a situation of pain for many interests, especially private ones, attempts are made to identify some possible lines in order to reform or to rethink the system.

Rien ne va plus? Le garanzie CEDU “incontrano” (e si scontrano con) l’azione civile e la prescrizione dell’ordinamento francese: alla ricerca di check and balances interni all’art. 6

A seguito del decesso del padre, imputato in Francia per il reato di appropriazione indebita, gli eredi ricorrono dinanzi alla Corte EDU lamentando la violazione dell’art. 6 §§ 1 e 2 in relazione a due profili. In primo luogo, gli stessi ritengono che lederebbe il giusto processo, sub specie di rispetto della parità delle armi, il meccanismo previsto in patria in base al quale il giudice penale è competente a pronunciarsi sul risarcimento del danno che grava sugli aventi causa del de cuius, nell’ipotesi in cui al momento della sua dipartita l’autorità giurisdizionale penale si sia pronunciata esclusivamente sull’azione penale, ritenendola prescritta. In secondo luogo, vi sarebbe stata l’inosservanza del principio di innocenza, come sancito nell’art. 6 § 2 CEDU, posto che solo post mortem l’imputato sarebbe stato dichiarato colpevole del reato contestatogli. I ricorrenti, quindi, ritenendo che la suddetta presunzione si estenda alla procedura di riparazione del danno in ragione del “legame” e del “ragionamento” istituito dal giudice penale tra procedura civile e penale, reputano che gli stessi possano agire in qualità di vittime dinanzi alla Corte europea al fine di ottenere la dichiarazione di violazione della presunzione di innocenza del proprio dante causa. Secondo il Collegio di Strasburgo, entrambe le doglianze sono fondate e conseguentemente lo Stato francese è condannato al pagamento di un indennizzo monetario. Traendo spunto da questa pronuncia, il commento si propone dunque di analizzare, in prima battuta, l’iter logico seguito dalla Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo, focalizzando, poi, l’attenzione sulle conseguenze “a cascata” che deriverebbero dai principi di diritto ivi sanciti, assumendo quale punto di osservazione principalmente le disposizioni dell’ordinamento francese che disciplinano l’azione civile e la prescrizione.