Credits to
Lorenzo Picarella

The “middle world”. A defining challenge for Article 416 bis of the criminal code

Issue 11/2020

Abstract. This paper aims to analyze the Mafia capitale case and it focuses on the main issues arose during the trial, specifically the unity of the criminal organization and the use of the mafia method. The analysis examines the interpretation of the mafia-type offense and assesses the distance between the legal and the sociological definition of mafia in the light of this particular case.

SUMMARY: 1. Introduction. – 2. The issue of the unity of the mafia-type association. The vagueness of the association element. – 2.1. One or more criminal associations? The different interpretations of the Court of first instance and the Court of Appeal compared. – 2.2. The ruling of the Court of Cassation on the association element. – 2.3. Mafia capitale and the association element. Conclusive remarks. – 3. The issue of the existence of the mafia method. – 3.1. The issue of the derivation of the mafia method. – 3.2. The issue of the autonomous origin of the mafia method. – 3.2.1. The mafia method of the group aimed at committing loan sharking and extortion crimes. – 3.2.2. The mafia method of the group aimed at committing corruption crimes in the public contract sector. – 3.3. The ruling of the Court of Cassation. – 3.4. Mafia capitale and the art. 416 bis c.c.: final remarks on the mafia method. – 3.4.1. The interpretation of the art. 416 bis c.c. in the light of the ruling of the Court of Cassation. – 3.4.2. Mafia capitale between socio-criminological knowledge and broad reading of the art. 416 bis c.c. – 3.4.3. The gap between legal and sociological definition of mafia.


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