Anti-Mafia Forfeiture in the Italian System
In recent years, anti-Mafia legislation has relied upon an increased use of forfeiture alongside a wide array of criminal law initiatives. Examples of such criminal law measures include white collar crimes, usury (lending money at extraordinary interest rates), money laundering, public officers’ crimes against the public administration, tax fraud, customs crimes, international drug trafficking, transnational crimes and corporate liability. Yet, it is forfeiture which might be regarded as the most efficient tool in fighting organized crime. Forfeiture has now acquired a ‘poly-functional’ character, varying according not only to the context it is based on, but also on different assumptions and recipients. Nowadays in Italy, we should refer not just to a single concept of ‘forfeiture’, but discuss plural anti-Mafia ‘forfeitures’. This is because we cannot unify in a single notion what, in effect, only shares the outcome of depriving somebody of an asset which is seized and subsequently acquired by the government. We must also consider increased international influences on the development of forfeiture, for example, the Resolution on organized crime in the European Union adopted by the EU Parliament on 25October 20111 and the subsequent proposal for a Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime, set forth by the European Commission on 12 March 2012.2
1 European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2011 on organised crime in the European Union (2010/2309(INI)). See A. Balsamo and C. Lucchini, ‘La risoluzione del 25 ottobre 2011 del Parlamento europeo: un nuovo approccio al fenomeno della criminalità organizzata. A proposito della Risoluzione del 25 ottobre 2011 sulla criminalità organizzata nell’Unione europea (2010/2309(INI)’ (2011) Diritto Penale Contemporaneo: http://www. penalecontemporaneo.it/upload/Risoluzione%20Parlamento%20UE%20su%20c%20o% 20.pdf (accessed 11 April 2013).