Over the last few years the environment has been increasingly the focus of the legislator’s attention with a number of regulations being introduced aimed at preventing the occurrence of environmental damage, which is defined as “any significant and measurable deterioration, either direct or indirect, of a natural resource or its utility”.
Moreover, law no. 68/2015 has increased its criminal-law protection by introducing new and specific criminal offences against the environment.
In practice, it is frequent to challenge environmental criminal offences even in the corporate sphere, by involving prominent figures or even the very legal entity, since certain criminal offences may also trigger the liability of entities.
For years the firm has offered its expertise for the criminal defence of top management in many high-profile cases including the Petrolchimico-Porto Marghera trial (records made public at www.petrolchimico.it).
The firm has also taken on important defensive roles in the trials concerning the Bussi sul Tirino, Spinetta Marengo and Crotone industrial plants as to the issues arising from environmental pollution and groundwater contamination. The firm is currently involved in the Taranto steel plant trial.
The firm often has to tackle and look into extraordinarily complex problems, whether it be the difficulty in laying bare the alleged causes of contamination, the need to analyse the development of regulations concerning the protection of environmental matrices, or acquire a deeper knowledge of dangerous substances and the cleaning-up of polluted sites, or even establishing the benchmark for the so-called ‘model agent’ (homo eiusdem professionis et condicionis) within large enterprises.
Likewise, the firm carries out in-depth analyses of environmental crimes through conferences, study groups and publications. Please see the relevant section of this website for further details.