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No social work for legal entities

Company law

No social work for legal entities

The introduction of the Italian Corporate Criminal Code with Legislative Decree 231/01 celebrated its 20th anniversary on 8 June 2021 when this client letter went to press. It is also the oldest compliance law internationally. According to the prevailing opinion in Germany, legal entities, on the other hand, are not culpable and therefore companies are not liable to prosecution.

The fact that consideration can also be given to the specific nature of a company subject to criminal prosecution is shown by the following decision of the GIP (investigating judge) of Bologna of 10.12.2020(source: Sole 24 Ore of 17.12.20).

A company that was threatened with a conviction for "induzione indebita" i.e. inciting a public official to provide a service or benefit that was not lawful, applied to the investigating judge to be allowed to perform social work instead. According to Law Number 67 of 2014, offenders are allowed to apply for suspension of proceedings if they have a positive social prognosis. The Bologna judge rightly stated that the hope of purification and insight associated with social work would fizzle out for a company, as the sanction would turn into a mere fine.