ADIR - L'altro diritto

ISSN 1827-0565

Chargeability, minority and punishment
Legal and sociological aspects

Laura Basilio, 2002


This research discusses the notions of criminal chargeability and responsibility as applied to minors.

The starting point of the research is the very notion of chargeability, discussed in chapter one. As a general theoretical issue the notion of chargeability is discussed in connection to the notion of individual responsibility, trying to understand whether the latter has to be understood as a prerequisite for the first.

The second chapter discusses the notion of chargeability in the context of the Italian criminal legislation, taking into account its historical evolution and the reciprocal connections between this notion and the notions of "mental capacity" and of "awareness and voluntarily of a behaviour".

In the third chapter the general notions discussed above are put into connection with the peculiar features of the juvenile laws. This chapter is mainly devoted to a discussion of the historical developments of the Italian juvenile crime laws, paying particular attention to the problems related to minor chargeability, problems that are thoroughly discussed in chapter four.

Chapter five discusses the actual prerequisite for chargeability as identified by the Italian laws, and namely the factual notions of age and of maturity. These notions are later put into connection with other features of the young offender that could affect his chargeability. This is the case for instance of mental disorders and of drug abuse. Finally the sixth chapter is devoted to the analysis of the security measures available for unchangeable young offenders such as approved schools and probation.