The Difficult Cohabitation between Criminal Action and the Administrative Function

By Gian Domenico Comporti and Elisabetta Morlino

What effects does criminal prosecution have on the exercise of the administrative function? How do judgements delivered by criminal law courts and administrative decisions interact? This essay examines the issue of the interplay between criminal law judgments and the administrative function in two sectors — territorial governance and environmental protection — in which this intersection occurs with greater frequency and, at the same time, leads to consequences that affect constitutionally relevant values. Based on an empirical analysis of data and emblematic cases, the authors identify the various forms that the relationship between criminal prosecution and administrative function may take and the problems that emerge from this relation- ship in terms of the stability of administrative decisions, the legal certainty that citizens may enjoy vis-à-vis public powers, and protection of constitutionally relevant values. The essay concludes by arguing in favour of a renewed balance between public powers and the identification of forms of connection between them.