Case Law 93/2007 (05/03/2007)
Authority: National Courts: Supreme Courts (Italy) - Corte Costituzionale
Subject: Several judges have raised the question concerning the constitutional conformity of the retroactive inapplicability of new, more favourable norms with regard to crimes' limitation terms (introduced by law 5 December 2005, n. 251), that do not refer to first degree trials, in which the public trial has already been declared open at the time the reform came into force. According to the magistrates, these norms violate the principle of retroactive applicability of the more favourable criminal norm, protected among others by artt. 10 and 11 of the Constitution, not only being an "international generally recognized norm" (according to art. 15 of the International Agreement on civil and political rights adopted in New York on 16 December 1966), but also a "general principle of community law" (as protected by art. 49, I par. of the Charter of fundamental rights, reproduced in art. II-109, I par., of the Treaty that adopts a Constitution for Europe, signed in Rome on 29 October 2004 and also qualified, by the European Communities' Court of Justice, as "being part of constitutional traditions, common to the member States", and therefore as "part of general principles of community law, that must be observed by national judges").
However, the Court has not decided on the matter and decreed the restitution of the case to the referring judges, having in the meantime declared the constitutional illegitimacy of the above mentioned art. 10, III par. law n. 251/2005 with the decision n. 393/2006, having reckoned that the legislator's choice violates the "criteria of necessary reasonableness".
Original language: Italian
Classification: Art. 49 Criminal Law - Favor rei