Subject: proceedings concerning crimes with a vulnerable victim are those in which the crime is committed against particularly weak subjects, where such condition is the result of their personal situation or of the specific nature of the crime. Said subject, or injured party, suffers an exceptional trauma as a result of the crime and is then subjected to a ‘secondary victimization’, that is, to a new, subsequent trauma due to the proceedings and to the consequent need to remember the facts.
The concept of ‘vulnerable victim’ has a Europeanist history and, therefore, the course cannot but start with an analysis of the integrated legal system on matters related to the protection of victims subsequent to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and by considering the related hermeneutics criteria; the course will therefore focus on framework decisions no. 2001/220/GAI and no. 2002/629/GAI of the Council of Europe, on the position of the victim in criminal proceedings and the fight against the trafficking of human beings, respectively (the latter was ‘re-written’ by a recent directive), which highlight the need to guarantee special judicial protection to that type of injured party, and to be heard through specific documentation methods, during the special inquiry procedure, thus anticipating in time the taking of the related testimonial evidence.
Furthermore, following the analysis of the legislative guidelines concerning the major types of crimes with a vulnerable victim (sexual abuse, stalking, domestic violence, various forms of mobbing, prostitution and trafficking of women) and having verified the effectiveness of the related investigative techniques, the course will examine the various ways in which applications arise; to that end, the assistance of psychiatrists and/or psychologists will be provided. In parallel, an assessment will be made of the more strictly procedural issues raised by the evidence presented by weak ‘declarants’, having particular regard to the selected criteria for evaluating reliability in cases of “progressione dichiarativa” (N.d.T.: evidence progressing over time) and to the relationship between generic and detailed disclosures.
In this context, particular attention will be devoted also to the forensic psychodiagnosis of minors who have allegedly been sexually abused and to the difficulties encountered by the courts in handling such scientific evidence, from preparing the questions, to the actual use of experts’ reports and consultations in the decision-making and reason-giving processes.
Special care will be dedicated to assessing the central role played by the special inquiry procedure, both in the cases set out in paragraph 1 bis of Art. 392 of the Italian Penal Code of Procedure, and in the proceedings in which the prognosis on the declarant’s availability appears unlikely already in the investigation phase (typical is the case of crimes of exploitation of the prostitution of others); the implementation of precautionary measures, in particular of the new forms of disciplinary measures provided by Articles 282 bis and 282 ter of the Italian Penal Code of Procedure; as well as the possibility of retrieving pre-trial proceedings in cases where it is impossible to hold a full hearing.
Objective: providing participants with the complete picture of the legislative instruments available for the correct handling of cases with a vulnerable victim both in the investigation phase and in the judgment phase.
Structure and methodology: face-to-face presentations will be accompanied by alternative didactical methods, such as workshops or work groups, so as to favor the involvement of participants in the discussions and the exchange of experiences.
Candidates: judicial and prosecuting magistrates of first instance and high court.