Credits to
Vasco Jann

The assessment of illegal danger through the method of risk assessment

The considerations of the judges dealing with the Spinetta Marengo chemical plant trial.

Issue 7-8/2019

Abstract. We continue the work of  criminal law in the risk society by publishing an excerpt of the sentences handed down by the Alessandria Court of Assizes and the Turin Court of Assizes of Appeal in the criminal proceedings against the senior managers and managing directors of the two companies that, over time, subsequently managed the chemical plant in Spinetta Marengo (AL), and were accused, among other things, of the serious crime of malicious water poisoning (Article 439 of the Penal Code). These verdicts are, in fact, the first and so far only cases within Italian law in which a criminal court judge has deemed the results of a risk assessment to be sufficient evidence of illegal danger. We therefore propose below a summary of the main points of argument by which both presiding courts recognised the existence of a real danger to public safety.


SUMMARY:  1. The origin of the trial and the relevant sentences. – 2. Risk assessment for public safety in first- and second-degree rulings. – 2.1. The verdict of the Corte d’Assise of Alessandria. – 2.2. The appeal declaration.


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


To download the sentence handed down by the Alessandria Court of Assizes, December 14, 2015, n. 1, in comment, click here.

To download the sentence handed down by the Turin Court of Assizes of Appeal, 20 June 2018, n. 8, in comment, click here.

To read the expert report prepared by the Public Prosecutor’s consultants in the context of the proceeding in question, click here.


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