THE SETTING-UP OF THE DNA DATABASE IN ITALY: CRIMINAL AND PROCEDURAL FINDINGS
By operation of the law introduced to ratify the Prűm Treaty (no. 85 dated 30 June 2009), implementing the Schengen agreements aimed at stepping up cooperation with other EU States to combat terrorism, illegal immigration, international and cross-border crime, Italy regulated, inter alia, the setting-up of a DNA database. However, it was only with Presidential Decree no. 87 dated 7 April 2016 that the proclaimed regulations were actually brought in, with provisions implementing Italian Law no. 85/2009 relating to the setting-up of the database and central laboratory for the national DNA database. Following this, procedures were established for the processing of the data and the transmission of the DNA profile by the laboratories run by highly specialised institutions.
The DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) test has become increasingly important in identifying the perpetrator of a crime, as statistical evidence suggests that the DNA test has proven to be decisive in identifying the subject responsible for a crime, at times particularly brutal, even after a long period of time.
At odds with this, however, are problems regarding the protection of individual privacy in connection, for example, with the identification of subjects from whom biological samples have been taken for the inclusion of their DNA profile in the database and the length of time for which this profile is kept. Another factor of fundamental importance is the protection of subjects, whose profiles are analysed, but who are not in any way involved in the crime in question.
The study intends to probe this important innovation in the Italian legal system – which will offer investigators a new means of inquiry – subject, nevertheless, to the obligation to safeguard individual rights guaranteed by the constitution, of both the person involved in the crime and those who are not implicated (but whose profiles have been analysed).
Keywords: DNA, database, privacy, crimes, individual rights.
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