• Justice, the go-ahead from the Senate to the two trusts on the reform of the criminal trial


23 September 2021 The Senate Chamber definitively approved the reform of the criminal trial after yesterday giving a green light to the trust placed by the government.

The final vote on the entire provision saw 177 in favor, 24 against and no abstentions.

The text, already licensed by the House, is now law.

Since this is a proxy law, the executive must approve the implementing decrees within one year, with the exception of the statute of limitations which enter into force immediately.

Here are the main news.


The Cartabia reform concerns only crimes committed after January 1, 2020. The current statute of limitations is confirmed, which provides for the limitation to be stopped after the first instance sentence (both in the case of conviction and in the event of acquittal). However, the failure to define the appeal judgment within two years and the Supreme Court judgment within one year constitutes cause for the inadmissibility of the criminal action. Crimes punished with life imprisonment are excluded from the rules of non-prosecution. The inadmissibility does not take place when the accused asks for the prosecution to continue.


For crimes with mafia aggravating circumstances relating to article 416 bis.1 first paragraph of the criminal code, the extension periods may not exceed a total of three years on appeal and one year and six months in the Supreme Court. So the process can last up to 5 years on appeal and 2 and a half years in the Supreme Court.


The accused and his defense counsel can appeal to the Supreme Court against the order that provides for the extension within five days of reading the order. The appeal has no suspensive effect, the Court decides within thirty days. The Court's decision is not open to challenge.


The possibility - both of the public prosecutor and of the accused - to appeal against the sentences of conviction and acquittal is generally confirmed. The jurisprudential principle of the inadmissibility of the appeal due to non-specific reasons is acknowledged. There are limited cases of non-appeal of first-degree sentences, for example in the event of acquittal for crimes punishable with a monetary penalty and conviction to work in the public utility.


In the event of a change in the judge or one or more members of the panel, the judge orders, in the case of testimony acquired through video recording, the re-assumption of evidence only when he deems it necessary on the basis of specific needs.


The Government is delegated to extend the prosecution of a lawsuit to specific crimes against the person and against the property with a penalty not exceeding a minimum of two years, without prejudice to the prosecution ex officio, if the victim is incapable of age or infirmity.


The aim is to rationalize and simplify the procedure for executing financial penalties;

to review, according to criteria of fairness, efficiency and effectiveness, the mechanisms and the procedure for converting the financial penalty in the event of non-payment due to the insolvency or insolvency of the offender;

to provide for effective administrative procedures, which ensure the effective collection and conversion of the financial penalty in the event of non-payment.