Serena Santini

Preventive counterterrorism measures: unsustainability of the current framework*

Contribution published in the Journal disCrimen on May 24, 2021, and herein republished.
The contribution is subject to the editorial and evaluation criteria of the aforementioned Journal.


Abstract. The article focuses on preventive counterterrorism measures, both in a theoretical and practical perspective. Taking a cue from the analysis of the preventive measures “in action”, the Author tries to expose the current flaws of these measures in the field of counterterrorism. The aim is to pave the way for the future development of possible solutions with a view to building up a sustainable preventive system: effective, but at the same compliant with the proportionality principle and the human rights.


SUMMARY: 1. Premise: the aim of the survey. — 2. The starting point: the quantitative-qualitative analysis of the preventive measures “in action”. — 3. The scope of preventive measures related to terroristic dangerousness. — 3.1. The problematic exegesis of the law. — 3.2. The profile of the “terrorist suspect”. — 3.3. The “tell-tale signs” of terroristic dangerousness. — 3.3.1. The “dangerous” embracement of terrorist ideology: radicalisation processes. — 3.3.2. — Links with others “terrorist suspect”. — 3.3.3. The others sign of terroristic dangerousness. — 3.3.4. The “case of Milan”: when the requirements of the law aren’t meted. — 4. First issue on the table: the unbearable… delimitation of being. The intersections between preventive and criminal scope. — 4.1. The ex lege intersections. — 4.2. The de facto intersections. — 4.3. First conclusion: it’s hard to identify the “independent scope” of preventive measures related to terroristic dangerousness. — 4.4. Second conclusion: the marginal role played by the preventive measures in counterterrorism. — 4.4.1. The first “litmus test”. — 4.4.2. The second “litmus test”. — 4.4.3. The third “litmus test”. — 5. Second issue on the table: the unbearable… uncertainty of being. Sore points in the assessment of social dangerousness. — 6. Third issue on the table: the unbearable…vagueness of being. The lack of foreseeability of the so-called “prescrizioni facoltative a contenuto libero”. — 7. Final remarks in the view of a “second half” of the survey.


* La presente ricerca è stata condotta grazie alla borsa di studio post-doc della Fondazione F.lli Confalonieri. Il testo è la versione più estesa del contributo in corso di pubblicazione su Criminalia, 2020.


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