This Chapter deals with the Italian intelligence system from a public law perspective. The aim of this study is to shed light on how the tension between accountability and transparency, on the one hand, and state secrecy implied in security-related operations, on the other hand, is addressed by the Italian legislator and courts, especially in times of severe political stress, namely those characterized by the impending threat of jihadist terrorism. As a first step, this work provides a brief history of the organization and functioning of intelligence services in Italy, from earliest pieces of legislation to the current legal framework regulating the matter. After this diachronic analysis, the research focuses on mechanisms designed to ensure oversight of intelligence operations and accountability of agents as well as on the relationship between intelligence services and the executive, as framed by laws into force and interpreted by courts. At the same time, the relationship between intelligence services and the judiciary is examined, specifically when state secrets privilege is invoked within criminal proceedings. In this part of the work, normative analysis is combined with the study of the most relevant case law. The final section discusses some challenging issues emerging from the described background and explores whether and how some aspects of the Italian intelligence framework could be improved in order to achieve a better balance between the values at stake.

Transparency and accountability versus secrecy in intelligence operations: an Italian case study

Vedaschi, Arianna
2022-01-01

Abstract

This Chapter deals with the Italian intelligence system from a public law perspective. The aim of this study is to shed light on how the tension between accountability and transparency, on the one hand, and state secrecy implied in security-related operations, on the other hand, is addressed by the Italian legislator and courts, especially in times of severe political stress, namely those characterized by the impending threat of jihadist terrorism. As a first step, this work provides a brief history of the organization and functioning of intelligence services in Italy, from earliest pieces of legislation to the current legal framework regulating the matter. After this diachronic analysis, the research focuses on mechanisms designed to ensure oversight of intelligence operations and accountability of agents as well as on the relationship between intelligence services and the executive, as framed by laws into force and interpreted by courts. At the same time, the relationship between intelligence services and the judiciary is examined, specifically when state secrets privilege is invoked within criminal proceedings. In this part of the work, normative analysis is combined with the study of the most relevant case law. The final section discusses some challenging issues emerging from the described background and explores whether and how some aspects of the Italian intelligence framework could be improved in order to achieve a better balance between the values at stake.
9780367767334
9780367767358
9781003168331
Mikuli, Piotr; Kuca, Grzegorz
Accountability and the law : rights, authority and transparency of public power
Vedaschi, Arianna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4052966
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