Credits to
Maria Rosaria Donnarumma

The notion of “criminal sanction” and the Galan case

Issue 9/2021

Abstract. The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of June 17, 2021 in Galan v. Italy is very important. The case considers the problem of ineligibility or forfeiture from elected offices with specific reference to the legislation in force in Italy, and confirms, according to a constant jurisprudential orientation, that such measures are not comparable to criminal sanctions and, therefore, are not subject to principle of non-retroactivity of criminal law.
This is in perfect harmony with the jurisprudence of the Italian Constitutional Court, now consolidated in the sense that the measures in question, including the precautionary measure of suspension from the mandate, “although connected to the commission of a criminal offense, are not sanctioning and represent only consequences of the cessation of a subjective requirement for access to public office” in a democratic State of Law.

SUMMARY: 1. Introduction. – 2. The jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, in particular the judgments n° 236 of 2015, n° 276 of 2016, n° 35 of 2021. – 3. The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, in particular the judgment of June 17, 2021, Galan v. Italy. – 4. Concluding remarks.


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