Monday, December 5, 2022

Important decision of Italy's Constitutional Court

In a potentially important ruling, the Italian Constitution Court held on October 19, 2022, that it was unconstitutional to provide for no possibility of adjusting downward the minimum sentence for sabotage in violation of the military penal code. Italy's civilian criminal law allows for such an adjustment when the damage done is temporary or minor. The court declared "the constitutional illegitimacy of art. 167, first paragraph, of the military penal code of peace, in the part in which it does not provide for the penalty to be reduced if the fact of temporarily rendering unusable, in whole or in part, ships, aircraft, convoys, roads, factories, depots or other military works or works used for the service of the Armed Forces of the State are, due to the particular tenuousness of the damage caused, of a minor entity." [Google translation.] The court has thus held that the door must at least be open for a sentence adjustment when a case is tried in the military courts. Judgment of Constitutional Legitimacy in an Incidental Way, No. 244/2022 (Ital. Corte Costituzionale Oct. 19, 2022), will be available in due course in the Official Gazette. Commentary by Tullio D'Elisiis Antonio be found here.

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