On December 12, 2014 the Council of Ministers, upon the proposal of the Minister of Justice, Andrea Orlando, approved rules that will be included in the bill to reform the substantive and procedural criminal law, which aims to tighten regulations on corruption issue.

Pending the final text, it is already possible to analyze the four anti-corruption measures announced by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi:

  • harsher punishments: the penalties of the crime of corruption for an act contrary to official duties, pursuant to art. 319 of the Italian Penal Code, are increased. The minimum penalty is changed from 4 to 6 years of imprisonment, while the maximum is increased from 8 to 10 years of imprisonment. This helps to prevent that the proceedings can be completed, choosing the plea agreement, with the application of penalties so slight as not to appear appropriate to the gravity of the offense. In this way, raising the minimum of the sentence, even with the alternative procedures, it will not be possible to escape imprisonment. It should be pointed out that the increase of corruption penalties is not new, since a rise in the punishment was already included in the anti-corruption bill signed by President of the Senate Pietro Grasso presented in March 2013;
  • limitation: as a result of the rise in penalties, the limitation increases from 10 years to 12 years and a half;
  • adoption of the so-called “enlarged confiscation”: the measure keeps effectiveness even when in any appeal is supervening a cause of discharge of the offense under investigation and also in case of death of the perpetrator, in which case the heirs are jointly economically responsible;
  • restitution of stolen goods: the defendant must return the full amount of the price or profit of the offense challenged, failing, otherwise, the admissibility of the request for the plea bargaining. This measure is aimed at ensuring that the profit of these serious crimes is always subject to recovery for the purposes of confiscation.