CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mirabella on Italian Criminal Procedure and the Amanda Knox Trial

Julia Grace Mirabella has posted Scales of Justice: Assessing Italian Criminal Procedure Through the Amanda Knox Trial (Boston University International Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The Italian criminal procedure code of 1989 reformed Italy’s criminal procedure system from an inquisitorial model into a hybrid scheme that draws inspiration from the United States’ adversarial system. However, despite including adversarial processes into its criminal procedure code, Italy’s inquisitorial foundations have continued to exert considerable influence over trial procedures. In the wake of the Amanda Knox case Italian criminal procedure has increasingly come under fire.

The purpose of this note is to explore the changes made to the Italian criminal procedure code, to assess the current state of Italian criminal proceedings and to consider whether proper comparative methodologies have been used in assessing how Italian criminal procedure relates to traditional adversarial systems.

In the United States, Italian criminal procedure had not received much consideration until the details of the Amanda Knox trial became a national sensation. Using the Knox case as a foundation, this note will explore whether the vehement American critique of the Italian system has merit. The analysis suggests that the criticism may stem from a misunderstanding of how the system works, from a basic disconnect between concepts of 'truth' in common law and civil law systems, and from an imperfect comparison of fundamentally different systems of criminal procedure.

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Thank you for posting this. I am researching the anti-Italian backlash that occurred in the Pacific Northwest and will certainly read this article.

Posted by: Valkowhite | Jan 29, 2012 2:08:28 PM

Thanks. I will read with interest. I believe the Knox-Sollecito case was the clearest example of two young people being impudently framed that I have ever seen.

Posted by: QuentinZ | Jan 30, 2012 7:35:10 AM

The English translation of the Italian Supreme Court report which explains why Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's acquittals were annulled can be downloaded from the Perugia Murder File website:

Posted by: Harry Rag | Sep 15, 2013 9:05:28 AM

A website about the Meredith Kercher murder case and a scandalous miscarriage of justice.

Posted by: Murder of Meredith Kercher Wiki | Nov 30, 2014 4:50:06 AM

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