24 Am. Inst. Crim. L. & Criminology 278 (1933-1934)
Fascist Reform of the Penal Law in Italy, The

handle is hein.journals/jclc24 and id is 290 raw text is: THE FASCIST REFORM OF THE PENAL LAW
Defense of the Personality of the State
The Italian Penal Code of October 19, 1930 (in effect since
July 1, 1931) assumes a significance of first rank among all the legis-
lative results of the Fascist Regime. It deals with one of the greatest
attributes of sovereignty, that is to say, the power to punish.
The law, in common with the realities of history everywhere,
must adapt itself to political ideas, to economic exigencies, and to the
social needs of a given country. The theory of government is re-
flected particularly in the penal law, because that is the most powerful
legal means which the government has at its disposal to achieve its
political objectives. It suffices to open the new Code and to glance
at Title I of Book II, with the heading Crimes against the Person-
ality of the State. The new crimes here defined (publication of pro-
hibited news, anti-national activity abroad, seditious associations, etc.)
show that the Legislature has aimed to guard not only the minimal
interests which, in codes of other countries, bear the name safety
of the State, but also, all the entirety of fundamental political inter-
ests represented by the State's personality.
Moreover, penal law has also a close relation to the moral law.
A penal code has been called the moral code of a nation. That is
true, in the sense that the greater part of man's conduct which the
penal law considers (beyond those commands which help to enforce
the will of the State) represent disobedience to the moral precepts.
The State cannot do less than elevate (within limits) some moral
rules into legal rules, for a minimum of social 'morality is indispens-
able for the existence of the State. The typical and permanent nu-
cleus of the penal law is thus composed of those precepts which are
not only declared by the State, but also are found written in every
person's conscience and are held sacred and inviolable in social life.
The perpetration of crimes which deny the essential dictates of mor-
ality arouses a reaction characteristic of the nation's conscience. This
moral reaction is not apparent in other crimes, especially in those
'Professor of the University of Pavia, Editor of the Rivista Italiana di
diritto penale.

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