Legislative decrees nos. 7 and 8 of January 15, 2016, published in the Official Gazette of January 22, 2016, that will come into force from February 6, 2016, have introduced major changes to the criminal justice system by repealing various minor offences, depenalizing other offences and introducing a new set of torts punished by pecuniary sanctions.

The following offenses have been repealed:

  • forgery of private agreement;
  • forgery of signed blank sheet;
  • insulting behaviour;
  • misappropriation of common properties;
  • appropriation of lost objects, lost treasure and objects received by mistake or underunforeseeable circumstances.

Under art. no. 4 of Decree no. 7 of January 15, 2016, , the events and acts described by the repealed rules, if intentional, require, along with the return of the goods and the compensation for damages according to civil rules, also the payment of a pecuniary sanction.

The following offences have instead been decriminalized, or reclassified as administrative offenses:

  • non-payment of social security deductions for amounts below € 10,000.00;
  • indecent behaviour;
  • obscene publications and performances (excluding the case provided for by art. 528, par. 3 crim. code);
  • refusal to supply services during a riot;
  • exploiting popular credulity;
  • abusive theater or film performances;
  • crimes punishable only by pecuniary sanctions, expressly excluding the offences: i) under the Criminal Code, except art. 726 crim. code (Offence against public decency. Bad language), ii) covered by Legislative Decree no. 286 of July 25, 1998 (Consolidation act concerning immigration and the status of foreigners) and iii) listed in Legislative Decree n. 8 of January 15t, 2016, (for example, the unauthorized building offences provided for by Presidential Decree no. 380of June 6, 2001,).

Among the decriminalized offences also those referred to in Legislative Decree no. 231 of November 21, 2007 (AML Law) are now punished only with pecuniary sanctions, such as the breach of the obligations to check the customer provided for by Title II, Chapter I of Decree no. 231/2007.

The criminal reform fulfils the demands of legal professionals.

It introduces innovative measures, such as the torts punished by civil fines (as the punitive damages in common law), and decriminalizing or repealing some minor facts, ensures nonobstrusive protection measures, which can however be equally satisfactory for the injuried party.