Article 50 - Right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence
Key facts of the case:
The complainant is a member of the Italian army: he was subjected to a disciplinary sanction in July 2014, which was then cancelled following an internal complaint. For the same case, an additional disciplinary sanction was imposed in December 2014. After the internal complaint against this new sanction had been rejected, the case was brought before the Piedmont Regional Administrative Tribunal. The complainant stressed – among other procedural errors– the alleged illegitimacy of being imposed a disciplinary sanction more than once for the same cause of action, in breach of Article 97 of the Italian Constitution.
Outcome of the case:
According to the court, in the light of the abovementioned legislation, since upon adoption of the second sanction no further information or details emerged that could justify an additional proceeding, that sanction shall be considered invalid.
“The necessity to avoid that a subject is taken to trial several times for the same fact is stressed at international and European level: as a matter of fact, the ne bis in idem principle is nowadays considered as a fundamental right of EU citizens, in compliance with Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms(ECHR).”
“L’esigenza di impedire che un soggetto sia processato più volte per il medesimo fatto è fortemente avvertita in ambito sovranazionale ed europeo, tanto che il principio del ne bis in idem figura oggi come diritto fondamentale del cittadino europeo, in forza dell’art. 50 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell’Unione Europea e dell’art. 4 del protocollo n. 7 allegato alla Convenzione Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo (CEDU).”