Credits to
Ciro Grandi

Criminal law and neuroscience

Fixed points (if there are any) and open questions

Issue 4/2019

Abstract. The debate on the penalistic effects of the empirical evidence offered by the techniques of cerebral exploration and behavioural genetics does not seem to diminish, fed by a now boundless literature, especially in the comparative panorama, and by a case law in constant growth. At the national level, the procedural impact of neurosciences is still rather limited and substantially limited to the sedes naturalis, i.e. the judgement of imputability. Even in this area, however, there is a very cautious, if not sometimes suspicious, attitude on the part of the jurisprudence, still doubtful about the full epistemological reliability of the disciplines in question. The continuity of interdisciplinary dialogue is called upon to encourage the overcoming of uncertainties and resistance, in order to avoid the a priori exclusion of cognitive elements endowed – albeit in a complementary and integrative function – with increasingly objective value.


SUMMARY: 1. Introduction. – 2. Neuroscience: minimal reconstructive signs. – 3. Neuroscience and criminal law as a radical-rebuilding model. – 4. Neuroscience and criminal law on a par with the moderate-compatible model. – 5. An overview of the use of “neuroscientific evidence” in practice. – 6. Neuroscience and opinion of imputability: an initial balance sheet. – 7. The (still) limited impact of neuroscience in the Italian criminal trial. Diagnosis and prognosis.


To read the Reflection, click on “open file”.


A meeting of knowledge on individual and society
to bring out the unexpected and the unspoken in criminal law


ISSN 2612-677X (website)
ISSN 2704-6516 (journal)


The Journal does not impose any article processing charges (APC) or submission charges