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Italy: New Law Including Measures on Home Detention or Postponement of Penalties due to COVID-19 Enters into Force

(July 27, 2020) On June 30, 2020, a new law containing a provision on the adjustment of penal sentences because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other miscellaneous provisions entered into force in Italy. (Law No. 70 of June 25, 2020, amending Decree Law No. 28 of April 30, 2020 (D.L. No. 28).)

Measures on Home Detention and Postponement of Sentences due to COVID-19

According to the new law, those convicted and imprisoned after February 23, 2020, for certain crimes, including mafia-related crimes and terrorism, may be admitted to home detention or their penalties may be postponed for reasons connected to the COVID-19 health emergency. (D.L. No. 28, art. 2-bis(1) & (5), as amended by Law No. 70, attachment.)

The granting of these benefits requires a prior evaluation by the respective penitentiary and health authorities within the territories where the eligible convicted and imprisoned persons are located. The respective judicial authorities must evaluate the underlying grounds for granting the benefits. (D.L. No. 28, art. 2-bis(2) & (3), as amended by Law No. 70, attachment.)

Measures to Guarantee the Security of Public Procurements of Strategic Importance

As a response to the pandemic, the new law also adopts measures to ensure the security of strategically important public procurements. Renaming the current bureau in charge of public procurement as the Central Section for the Control of Secret Contracts, the law endows the Central Section with preventive functions to guarantee the transparency and efficiency of public procurement decisions in the context of the pandemic. The Central Section acts according to the rules approved by the national Audit Court and under the oversight of the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic. (D.L. No. 28, art. 5, para. 1-bis, as amended by Law No. 70, attachment.)

Systems for the Protection of Minors from Cyberspace Risks

According to the new law, supply contracts for internet service providers governed by national public procurement regulations must include preactivated control mechanisms that allow parents to filter inappropriate content for minors and block content reserved for audiences over the age of 18. (D.L. No. 28, art. 7-bis(1), as amended by Law No. 70, attachment.)

Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft

Finally, the new law also allows for the use of remotely piloted aircraft by qualified personnel of the Prison Police Corps to ensure more effective supervision of penitentiary institutions and to guarantee security within their premises. (D.L. No. 28, art. 1-bis, as amended by Law No. 70, attachment.)