The Legislative Decree n. 231/2001, which introduced the “regulation of the administrative liability of legal persons, companies and associations, including those without legal personality, under article 11 of Law n.300, September 29, 2000”, turns twenty.
It’s a crucial anniversary because this legislation has allowed the Italian legal system to overcome the principle of “societas delinquere non potest”, that is, “a company cannot commit a crime”.
Although the Legislative Decree n. 231/2001 was initially applied only to some willful crimes, over time, the legislator has expanded its range of action by including further “predicate offenses”, i.e., the types of offenses that can cause the body’s liability. To date, this particular category includes about five hundred heterogeneous offenses, such as crimes against the Public Administration (the first to be introduced), corporate and environmental crimes, crimes related to accidents at work, IT crimes and, more recently, tax crimes.
The extension of the applicability of the Legislative Decree n. 231/2001 has sensitized companies – especially those of medium-large size – to implement efficient internal compliance systems resulting from adopting specific Organizational Models. The latter must be constantly updated while appointing the Supervisory Body guarantees the verification of the application by the model’s recipients, as well as the model’s adequacy and effectiveness.