Less than two years after the implementation of the last legislative reform intervention on the law – that is, the so-called Cartabia Reform with Legislative Decree No. 150 of 2022 – the construction site has reopened new reform of the institution of prescriptionWhich has already been amended four times in the last eighteen years.
As it is now known, in fact, three different bills have been presented with the aim of reforming the institution of prescription, a discipline that has always been the subject of great interest on the part of the legislator, often on the subject of justice. Interferes. Ideological fight. And majority. For this reason, the statute of limitations – an institution that influences the state’s penal claim and contributes to advancing the principle of reasonable length of judgment – lends itself to being an excellent flag for politics and its objectives. Is.
Among various projects, the Justice Commission of the Chamber approved by majority vote the project developed – effectively a reformulation of Bill No. 893 submitted by Pittalis – which provides for the repeal of both Arts. 161 bis of the Criminal Code and Art. Introduction of a new and autonomous reason for suspension on the express provision of 344 bis CPP and new Article 159 bis CP
The current article that regulates the limitation period is Art. 161 bis of the Criminal Code which provides for the suspension of the limitation period starting from the definition of the first instance verdict with the imposition of a sentence or with the issuance of a criminal punishment decree; It is a system that effectively permanently blocks the substantial statute of limitations on a crime.
The proposed reform in relation to the statute of limitations should provide for the statute of limitations for an offense to be suspended for a period of 24 months after conviction at first instance and for a period of 12 months on appeal; If the judgment exceeds the maximum conditions stated above for its definition, the suspension period up to that moment will again enter into the calculation of the terms of the statute of limitations for the crime.
except forRepeal of Art. 161 bis of the criminal code is also plannedRepeal of Art. 344 bis cppWhich establishes a reason for inadmissibility for exceeding the maximum time limits for the duration of the proceedings, which are recognized as two years for the Court of Appeal and one year for the Court of Cassation, respectively.
IL The new institution of inadmissibility according to art. 344 bis cpp It was actually introduced to guarantee a reasonable duration of the trial where, due to the suspension of the time limit according to Article 161 bis of the Criminal Code, the statute of limitations would no longer apply.
It’s clear that the new improvements hold great promise Amendments to the current regulatory frameworkDespite the apparent reduction in procedural time and increase in efficiency of the judicial system, it does not seem to have enjoyed the favor of parliamentary majority.
However, the central point of this reflection is not to undertake a technical analysis of what possible future changes might occur to the institution of prescription, but, rather, to share potential food for thought on what the implications of a new legislation might be. Can. Intervention on the subject could impact the stability – already uncertain – of the procedural system.
As has already been highlighted, in fact, legislative interventions in this matter have been numerous and chaotic, so much so that, to date, we are faced with an inhomogeneous regulatory and jurisprudential framework that is a source of great disorientation For those who must work within it, given that the Cirelli, Orlando, Bonafede and Cartabia reforms followed each other on paper but their effects on Italian justice had no effect in reality, given that each The reform changed both the logic and structure of standard statutes of limitations.
However, this scenario is contradictory if we assume that the institution of prescription finds its way Ratio There is a need to guarantee legal certainty through promoting the principle of reasonable length of proceedings and the right to be forgotten, which are fundamental principles at both national and European level.
Certainly the reforms approved in the Justice Commission will be the subject of discussion in Parliament and will likely be subject to further amendments in order to ensure that the reform does not conflict with Europe in terms of the duration and certainty of fair trials.
It is therefore desirable that the focus of reform on prescriptions is to build an effectively efficient and guaranteeing judicial system in addition to the promulgation of strong and stable law over time, capable of responding to the concrete needs of the judicial system. Of the society and its citizens, which is sorely lacking at this time.
in collaboration with Grolla Law Firm