On January 31, 2019, Italy’s new Law No. 3/2019 on “Measures to fight crimes against the public administration as well as on the matter of statute of limitations and transparency of political parties and movements” entered into force. This new law introduces important measures affecting Italian criminal law and significantly amends Legislative Decree No. 231/2001 with respect to corporate liability.
With respect to Italian criminal law, the new law will make the following changes, increasing the penalties applicable to certain crimes against the public administration:
Law No. 3/2019 also significantly amends the Italian Civil Code by introducing the possibility of prosecuting ex officio private-to-private corruption (Section 2635 of the Civil Code) and incitement of private-to-private corruption (Section 2635-bis of the Civil Code).
With respect to Legislative Decree No. 231/2001, the most significant amendments include:
Among the various legislative changes introduced by Law No. 3/2019, the most relevant for companies doing business in Italy are those increasing the duration of restraining measures (e.g. suspension of the company’s business, prohibition from dealing with the public administration, suspension of licenses, permits and authorizations which have been instrumental in committing the crime, etc.) applicable to certain crimes against the public administration and those introducing a leniency program for companies attempting to effectively reduce the negative consequences resulting from the commission of these crimes.
Finally, given the inclusion of the new crime of trafficking in illegal influence among those which may trigger corporate liability, companies should update their organizational, management and control models in order to ensure conformity with the amendments made to Legislative Decree No. 231/2001 and take advantage of the safe-harbor. To this end, companies should conduct a thorough assessment to identify which business areas are exposed to the risk of committing this crime and should adopt appropriate preventive controls. We will be happy to answer any questions that companies may have in taking these actions to ensure compliance with the new law’s requirements.