The global fight against Impunity and the ECJ

By the Order no. 24/2017, the Italian Constitutional Court has challenged the ECJ Grand Chamber judgment in Taricco I, asserting the contrast with the fundamental principle of legality (also known as the nullum crimen sine lege principle), set forth in Article 25(2) of the Italian Constitution (under which the principle of legality in criminal matters also covers statutes of limitation periods), that affords to the accused person the right to be tried and punished only in accordance with an existing law.

It might be shared opinion the ECJ’s decision in Taricco I that national courts must disapply the rules of statutes of limitations if they prevent Member States from fulfilling their obligations under Article 325 TFEU (in the present case, the relevant Italian legislation) leads to perceiving serious fraud as a crime against the rights and interests of citizens, i.e., against fundamental social human rights guaranteed under Articles 2 and 3 of the Italian Constitution, and hence calls for resolving the conflict within the Italian Constitution by balancing the rights under these articles and the accused’s individual rights guaranteed by the legality principle (Art. 25(2) Const.). In our view, the former ought to prevail in light of the constitutional orientation that favours social and public interests.