CLICK HERE to download the guide to the Cartabia reform prepared by Alessandro Gentiloni Silveri for
With the approval of the Senate, the bill for the reform of justice, prepared by the Minister Cartabia, is about to become law .
The text provides for two legal regimes. A group of provisions (those of art. 2) come into force immediately, innovating substantive and procedural criminal law from different points of view. Another group constitutes a law-delegation, which the Government will have to translate into a legislative text inspired by the principles laid down (governed by art. 1). In the downloadable tableand contained a detailed illustration of the contents of the reform, proposed in parallel with the regulations currently in force. Here we report the most significant news of both groups.
Immediate operational changes.
The institution of the statute of limitations for the offense has been rethought and subjected to important regulatory changes. In particular, the legislator has introduced the unprecedented institute of the termination of the course of the limitation period: after the first instance sentence – whether conviction or acquittal – the limitation definitively interrupts its course. Previously, this only happened with the definitive nature of the sentence, which could arrive (and often did not arrive precisely because of the statute of limitations) after three degrees of judgment.
To mitigate the risk that, after the first degree ruling, the trial is eternally facing the Courts of Appeal (and the Supreme Court itself, in theory, although the Supreme Court has been operating very quickly and efficiently for some time and the average time for the treatment of an appeal and less than twelve months), a cause of inadmissibility has been introduced such that if, after a first instance sentence, the appeal judgment does not end within two years and that of cassation within a further year, a sentence of not having to proceed must be pronounced. Extensions and suspensions of these terms of inadmissibility are possible, which can in any case be waived by the accused.
Other rules to come into force immediately concern the establishment of a technical-scientific committee for the efficiency of the criminal process, the identification of foreigners and stateless persons, the hearing of people offended by certain crimes.
Principles of the law-delegation.
The reforms to be adopted by the Government, on the basis of the criteria established by today’s text, affect various aspects of substantive criminal law and the trial.
As for the first, the prosecution of a lawsuit and the institution of non-punishment due to particular tenure of the fact will be strengthened, and the matter of so-called ‘restorative justice’ will be governed in an organic way.
As for the trial, the news will affect numerous aspects: from the digitization of the criminal trial (in the wake of the experience carried out during the pandemic), to the streamlining of notification procedures, to special proceedings (with particular attention to the additional incentives for those who opt for the abbreviated procedure), to the ordinary judgment, to the control of the Judge on the conduct of the preliminary investigations and on the timeliness of the same.
The most disruptive elements are represented by: the modification of the rule of judgment for the exercise of the criminal action and for the indictment: elements’ suitable to support the accusation in court ‘will no longer be required but a’ reasonable prognosis of condemnation, as well as from the introduction, for crimes that proceed through direct summons to trial (catalog which is in any case expanded) of an unprecedented pre-trial hearing, before the Court, where to evaluate, by a judge other than that competent for the eventual judgment, the merits of the accusatory hypothesis (in terms of the ‘reasonable prognosis of conviction’) and to establish, if necessary, special proceedings (in the current regime of competence of the judge who would proceed to the hearing).
***CLICK HERE to download the Cartabia reform guide written by Alessandro Gentiloni Silveri for

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