Alla prova del ’48: evoluzione (ed involuzione) del diritto penale nella monarchia asburgica tra primo costituzionalismo e neoassolutismo
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Criminal law and its reforms are one of the lenses through which one can observe the adaptability of the nineteenth-century monarchies to the constitutional and liberal demands of the century. As an observatory of this phenomenon, the contribution considers the Austrian Empire in the significant span of time between 1848 and the so-called neo-absolutism. The criminal procedure regulation of 1850, which undermined the most reactionary mechanisms of the prior code of 1803, was one of the responses of the Habsburg monarchy to the revolutions of ‘48 and to the subsequent short constitutional season; but then, just a few years later, it took a step back, approving a new code of criminal procedure (1853) that partly replicated the old code of 1803. In the context of this process of political and judicial evolution-involution, the destinies of the Italian territories were opposite. In the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia the regulation of 1850 never came into effect because of its incompatibility with the martial law activated in 1848. Despite its short life, the reform in Southern Tyrol had important repercussions on public opinion.