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Last update: 15-01-2007
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Compensation to crime victims - Italy

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender 1.
1.1. Under which conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)? 1.1.
1.2. At which moment of the procedure should I put forward the claim? 1.2.
1.3. How should I put forward the claim, and to whom? 1.3.
1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify the individual losses)? 1.4.
1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and /or during the proceedings? 1.5.
1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim? 1.6.
1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me as a crime victim for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender? 1.7.
2. Obtaining compensation from the state or by a public body 2.
2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the state or by a public body? 2.1.
2.2. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of crime? 2.2.
2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims that have sustained certain types of injury? 2.3.
2.4. Can relatives or dependants of victims that have died as a result of the crime obtain compensation? 2.4.
2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country? 2.5.
2.6. Can I apply for compensation from [Member State] if the crime was committed in another country? If yes, under what conditions? 2.6.
2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police? 2.7.
2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply? 2.8.
2.9. If the offender has been identified, is it necessary to first try to get compensation from the offender? 2.9.
2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application? 2.10.
2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation? 2.11.
2.12. For which losses can I be compensated? 2.12.
2.13. How will the compensation be calculated? 2.13.
2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded? 2.14.
2.15. Will compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same losses but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation from the state? 2.15.
2.16. Are there any other criteria that can influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that caused the injury? 2.16.
2.17. Can I get an advance on the compensation? If yes, under what conditions? 2.17.
2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special help line or website that I can use? 2.18.
2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making the application? 2.19.
2.20. Where do I send the application? 2.20.
2.21. Are there any victim support organisations that can give further assistance ? 2.21.

 

1. Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender

1.1. Under which conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)?

By bringing a civil action: under Italian law, bringing civil proceedings joined to a criminal prosecution is covered by Title V of the Code of Criminal Procedure (sections 74 and 75) in Book I, which covers parties involved in cases.

Section 74 of the Code in particular authorises the bringing of a civil action for compensation and damages for victims who have suffered harm, or their heirs and successors, in proceedings against the accused or the party civilly liable (the person who, under civil law, is responsible for the actions of the other).

Persons authorised to bring civil actions in criminal prosecutions under section 74 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are either natural or legal persons.

This right may be exercised independently of any action for compensation in the civil courts.

The right to bring civil proceedings joined to a criminal prosecution, on the basis of specific legal provisions, is also accorded to persons who have not directly suffered the harm resulting from the offence; this right is accorded on account of their interests (examples might include for instance a special guardian, a court commissioner, an official receiver and various types of associations and consortia).

A civil action is not admissible in criminal proceedings against juvenile offenders as defined in section 10 of Presidential Decree 448 /98.

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The conditions under which civil proceedings may be joined to a criminal prosecution are covered by Title V of the Code of Criminal Procedure (section 76-82) in Book I, which covers parties involved in cases.

Civil proceedings may only be carried out by persons who enjoy the free exercise of their civic rights and have full legal capacity.

In the absence of these requisites, interested parties may embark on civil proceedings via persons who are duly authorised on the basis of the Code of Civil Procedure, as is expressly required by section 77 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

1.2. At which moment of the procedure should I put forward the claim?

To be receivable, civil proceedings must be brought before the court has ruled on the criminal proceedings (i.e. before the preliminary hearing or trial). If the action is brought after that date, the civil party may not make use of the possibility of presenting witnesses, experts or technical advisors.

If the action has been brought before the civil court, the proceedings may be transferred to the criminal proceedings, provided a judgment has not been reached in the civil action, in which case the interested party halts the civil action and the criminal court rules on the civil costs. Introducing a civil action into criminal proceedings suspends the civil proceedings which then follow after sentence has been passed by the criminal court (section 75 Code of Criminal Procedure).

1.3. How should I put forward the claim, and to whom?

To be admissible, the notification of civil proceedings must contain a formal indication of all the subjective and objective requirements of the case in question, as listed in full in section 78 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and may be deposited both at the registry of the judge who has jurisdiction or directly in court. If it is presented out of court, the notification of civil proceedings must be served by the civil party on the other parties, and takes effect for each party from the day on which the notification is served.

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1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify the individual losses)?

The declaration of notification of civil proceedings is deposited at the registry of the judge who has jurisdiction or in court and, to be valid, must contain:

  1. the particulars of the natural person or the name of the association or body that constitutes the civil party and the particulars of their legal representative;
  2. the particulars of the accused in the civil action or other personal details that will serve to identify them;
  3. the full name of the representative and the power of attorney granted him;
  4. an explanation of the grounds for the request;
  5. the representative's signature.
1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and /or during the proceedings?

Yes. Under the new Act 206 of 3 August 2004, victims of terrorism or similar acts and their families are eligible for state assistance in criminal, civil, administrative and accounting procedures.

1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim?

Any evidence that serves to demonstrate the harm that has been suffered as a result of the behaviour of the accused.

1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me as a crime victim for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender?

No.

2. Obtaining compensation from the state or by a public body

2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the state or by a public body?

Yes.

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2.2. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of crime?

In some particularly serious offences (e.g. terrorism or similar acts, organised crime, usury, trafficking in human beings). In particular, regarding victims of terrorist acts, under the new Act 206 of 3 August 2004, which filled a gap in the legislation, the new measures are applicable to all victims of terrorism or similar acts carried out in Italy or abroad, if Italian citizens are involved, as well as their surviving family, thereby extending the scope of the legislation to surviving victims of terrorism even outside Italy.

2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims that have sustained certain types of injury?

Yes, e.g. for victims of acts of terrorism, everyone who has suffered permanent disability of less than 80% of their working capacity as a result of terrorism or similar acts is entitled to ten years' contributions to be paid into their pension fund to increase the level of their pension by the same amount on maturity, and the severance payments fund or similar scheme by the same amount. Anyone who has suffered a permanent disability equivalent to 80% or more of their working capacity as a result of an act of terrorism or a similar act is considered for all legal purposes to be a severely disabled war veteran within the meaning of section 14 of Presidential Decree No 915 of 23 December 1978.

Anyone who has suffered a permanent disability equivalent to 80% or more of their working capacity as a result of an act of terrorism or a similar act is also immediately entitled to a direct pension, calculated on the basis of the last salary received by the entitled payee and recalculated in line with section 2(2). The same criteria from section 2(2) are used to determine the survivor's pension or the indirect pension paid to survivors if the victim dies as a result of a terrorist act or similar occurrence, and moreover such pensions cannot be subject to any statutory reductions.

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Anyone who, as a result of wounds or injuries caused by terrorist action or similar acts, suffers or has suffered permanent invalidity of not less than one quarter of their working capacity, or the survivors of such victims, including children who have reached adulthood, is now entitled to receive, starting from the date of entry into force of the legislation, in addition to the above benefits, a special, non-reversible living allowance of EUR 1033 per month, subject to an automatic review within the meaning of section 11 of Legislative Decree No 503 of 30 December 1992 as amended. Where the victim has died, survivors entitled to the survivor's pension receive two years' payments, inclusive of the thirteenth month, of the above-mentioned pension; this is restricted to the surviving spouse, minors, children who have reached adulthood, and parents and siblings, providing they were living with the person in question and dependent upon them. Recognised invalidity percentages which have been compensated on the basis of criteria and provisions in force when the law entered into force may be reviewed in the event of physical deterioration or recognition of any biological or mental harm suffered.

All victims of terrorism and similar acts and their families are also eligible for state-funded psychological counselling. Pensioners who are victims of terrorism or similar acts and their survivors are entitled to the permanent index‑linking of their pensions to the equivalent levels in force for their occupations and their length of service.

2.4. Can relatives or dependants of victims that have died as a result of the crime obtain compensation?

Yes. See the preceding reply.

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2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country?

Italian citizens, foreign citizens and stateless persons are all entitled to obtain compensation.

2.6. Can I apply for compensation from [Member State] if the crime was committed in another country? If yes, under what conditions?

Under the new Law of 3 August 2004, No 206, which filled a gap in the legislation in that area, the new measures are applicable to all victims of terrorism or similar acts carried out in Italy or abroad, if Italian citizens are involved, as well as their surviving family, thereby extending the scope of the legislation to surviving victims of terrorism even outside Italy.

2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police?

Yes.

2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply?

No.

2.9. If the offender has been identified, is it necessary to first try to get compensation from the offender?

No.

2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application?

Yes, provided the crimes are covered by this legislation. Evidence demonstrating that the application for compensation is well founded is required.

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2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation?

If the application is submitted as part of civil proceedings joined to a criminal prosecution, the time limits are those that apply to such proceedings, as set out above. If the application is made outside court proceedings, normal legal time-limits apply.

2.12. For which losses can I be compensated?

Death and permanent invalidity, calculated using the percentages included in the law.

2.13. How will the compensation be calculated?

See 2.3 above.

2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded?

Yes, but they vary according to the nature of the crime.

Under the new Act 206 of 3 August 2004, which filled a gap in the legislation in that area, the new measures apply to all victims of terrorism or similar acts carried out in Italy or abroad, if Italian citizens or their surviving family are involved, thereby extending the scope of the legislation to surviving victims of terrorism even outside Italy.

The law also updated the previous benefit measure that was in place for victims of terrorism.

The benefits, which were introduced by section 1(1) of Act 302 of 20 October 1990 as amended, now comprise payments of up to EUR 200 000 to be paid in proportion to the percentage of invalidity (i.e. EUR 2 000 per percentage point).

The competent government department may, even before judicial or administrative proceedings are launched, of its own authority or on application by a party, offer the victim of a terrorist act or similar event or the heirs and successors of such a person a sum as a final settlement which, if accepted, removes the right to any other act and constitutes a settlement in all respects.

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2.15. Will compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same losses but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation from the state?

Yes.

2.16. Are there any other criteria that can influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that caused the injury?

Victims of terrorist crimes should not have recourse to the "Commission for harmful acts or crimes" [commissione degli atti lesivi o dei reati] in this connection.

2.17. Can I get an advance on the compensation? If yes, under what conditions?

With regard to victims of terrorist crimes, following the amendments to Legislative Decree No 13 of 4 February 2003 converted by Act 56 of 2 April 2003, payment of a living allowance to entitled persons (under Presidential Decree No 510 of 28 July 1999), is provided for even if no ruling has been made, provided the conditions on which the award is made are clear and unequivocally and indisputably result from terrorist or subversive action, or a factual connection with organised crime, and that there is a clear connection between the action itself and the event that caused the death or invalidity.

The legislation also increased the provisional benefit due to victims of terrorism and organised crime to 90%, and provided for the possibility of extending the living allowance already provided for in the existing legislation to Italians and foreign citizens and stateless persons and their heirs before any ruling by the courts, if the harm is clearly a result of result of terrorist or subversive action or organised crime.

2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special help line or website that I can use?

From the Ministry of the Interior.

2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making the application?

Yes, but applicants must pay their own costs.

2.20. Where do I send the application?

To the Ministry of the Interior.

2.21. Are there any victim support organisations that can give further assistance ?

Victims of terrorism or similar acts and their families are entitled to state-funded psychological counselling.

Further information

Are there any other options for getting compensation from the offender (compensation orders)?

No

« Compensation to crime victims - General information | Italy - General information »

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Last update: 15-01-2007

 
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