ADIR - L'altro diritto

ISSN 1827-0565

The notion of 'minimal offensiveness' and the forms of settlement in the juvenile trial

Valentina Adduci, 2002


This research analyses the forms of settlement in the juvenile trial, developed after the notion of minimal offensiveness.

In the first part this research presents a theoretical analysis of the mentioned procedures. In particular the first chapter analyses the evolution of juvenile justice, from the introduction in Italy of the Juvenile Courts in 1934 to the 1988 reform, taking into account also the principles laid down by the 1948 Italian constitution, the Constitutional Court jurisprudence and the most relevant international laws. The notion of minimal offensiveness is also discussed: a consequence of the new goal of the juvenile trial, that is the rehabilitation of the young offender. This rehabilitation implies that the trial should not interfere with the educational and formative needs of young people.

The second chapter is devoted to an accurate analysis of the legal measures of the judicial pardon, of the unimportance of the event, of crime extinction after positive probation and of nonsuit. These measures are inspired by the notion of minimal offensiveness, preventing the conviction of young offenders.

This chapter contains also a sociological analysis of relevant phenomena for the comprehension of juvenile crime in Italy, such as young foreigners crime, organized crime and bullying, and their relevance for the settlement in the juvenile trial is discussed.

The last part of this research shifts the analysis from the theoretical to the practical level, studying the enforcement of the legal measures mentioned above in the Trieste, Florence and Naples courts from January 1999 to June 2002. The choice of these cities was not made by chance. These cities, one from the north, one from the centre and one from the south of Italy, present extremely different socio-economical environments, and extremely different are also the forms of juvenile crime they face.