Victims in Italy
Note: for more related information, see the entry on the Italian Criminal Justice System.
1. Groups most victimized by crime. Information
2. Victims’ assistance agencies.
Compensation for up to 100,000 USD is
provided through a state fund for victims of
organized crime or terrorism. A special
compensation fund for victims of extortion has
been established by the State. Victims who have
suffered property damage from not complying with
extortion requests (for example, if a store was
bombed because of not paying racketeers) may be
entitled to compensation through a state fund.
The fund is administered by a state controlled
insurance company (INA, Istituto Nazionale delle
Assicurazioni) and is under the supervision of the
Minister of Industry and Trade. (Official Gazette,
October 25, 1990, January 2, 1992).
Compensation for needy victims of crime is
also provided by the Department of Prisons with
money coming from private donations and from a 30%
deduction of the pay received by convicted working
prisoners. Victims can be compensated for any
kind of damage they have suffered, whether it be
moral, medical, mental, or property. Offenders
are obliged to give restitution and pay for
damages they may have caused to the victim(s).
(Official Gazette, August 9, 1975, October 25,
1990; Penal Code, Art.185).
A law also provides for the granting of free
legal aid to needy victims. (Official Gazette,
July 30, 1990).
3. Role of victim in prosecution and sentencing.
Victims have the right to be informed about
judicial proceeding developments, to produce
evidence at any stage of criminal prosecution, to
oppose the request by the Judge for the
Preliminary Investigation, (Giudice per le
Indagini Preliminari or G.I.P) for dismissal of
the case, and to designate defending counsel to
protect their rights.
Victims’ assistance associations
(environmentalist associations) can join the
victim at trial with the victim’s consent. (Code
of Penal Procedure, Art.91).
Prosecutors and defending counsel play two
distinct roles to protect the victims’ rights.
Prosecutors do not directly protect victims’
rights since their main intent is to protect the
public interest by seeking prosecution against
alleged offenders. However, they indirectly
protect victims’ rights in that, if defendants are
convicted, victims are entitled to compensation.
Victims’ defending counsel, on the other hand, are
directly in charge of protecting the rights of
victims. Alleged offenders’ defense attorneys do
not protect victims’ interests, but rather, seek
acquittal for their clients.
4. Victims’ Rights Legislation.
Crime victims can claim compensation for
damages incurred during the trial stage under the
Penal Code (Art.185) and the new Code of Penal
Note: this work was completed in 1993
- Criminal Justice
- Legal System
- Italian Criminal Justice System
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- David, R. and J. E. Brierley (1968) Major Legal Systems of the World Today. London: Free Press.
- Fairchild, E. (1993), Comparative criminal justice systems. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- Feeley, Malcolm M. (1973), “Two models of the criminal justice system”. Law and Society Review, 7(3): 407-425.