Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Italy is a nation in southern Europe with a population of about 60 million, about 69 percent of whom live in around major cities. Italy's modern criminal justice system has never enjoyed a good reputation, and the main problems of the Italian criminal system—a huge backlog of civil cases and seemingly endless criminal trials, as well as an enormous number of disputes that are delayed—are well known. From 1996 to 2000, various laws were enacted to reform the system. The challenge for the new millennium is to allocate the resources that will be needed to make these reforms operational and to implement the new legislation. According to the current Italian criminal code, crimes can be divided into offenses and contraventions. This distinction is based merely on the type of punishment that these crimes entail. Offenses are punishable by life sentence, detention, or fine, whereas contraventions are punishable by amend (a ...