University of Turin
During the years from 1969 to 1975 the Italian Judicial system therefore did not possess any specific anti- terrorist laws. However the situation changed with the introduction of the Reale Law in 1975 (Oronzo Reale was the Minister of Justice responsible for the law). This law, n. 152, increased police powers considerably by extending the length an individual could be held in charge and permitting wider recourse to firearms. The legge Reale also banned the wearing of crash helmets at demonstrations, or any other method, which helped to obscure the identity of protestors. The Radical party organized a referendum in 1978 designed to abrogate the law, but the outcome was negative. The law was an example of the speed with which the Italian state responded to the threat of terrorism, but also reversed the directions of the previous five years towards enhanced civil liberties. The Reale law is also an example of democratic dilemma. Indeed the fact that the law remains on the statutes today indicates that it was really about countering the diffuse violence of the 1970s, and the public’s growing fear of a breakdown of law and order, rather than the acts of terrorism specific to the period.
Reale Law; Security; Constitutional Rights; Public Order; Democratic Dilemma.