Stefania Amato, Michele Passione

Italy's Law: A Legal Perspective

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On July 18, 2017 Italy's new legislation making torture a crime entered into effect, long time after the ratification of CAT. This essay deals with articles 613-bis and 613-ter introduced into the Italian criminal code, pointing out the weakness and the risk of failure of the new legal instruments against torture. Criticism mostly focuses on being torture an offence committed by any civilian and not necessarily by public officers, on the lack of reference to the purpose of the violent or threatening acts, on the complication of criminal prosecution of the accused perpetrators due to the use of ambiguous words such as "verifiable" psychological trauma, "repeatedly committed" violent acts, "severe" threats. This law should be an important step forwards, but its failings show how blunt a weapon it risks to be.

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