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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-11212022-183507

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea magistrale LM5
Thesis title
Course of study
relatore Prof.ssa Murgo, Caterina
  • Torts
  • damages
  • civil liability and compensation.
Graduation session start date
The press from all parts of the world report crimes, some incredible, committed by minors. In 1993, a 2-year-old boy (James Patrick Bulger) was kidnapped, tortured, then murdered by two little boys (Robert Thompson and Jon Venables), each about 10 years old. An English newspaper, “inews”, had subtitled the sad story, "James Bulger killers: What happened to Jon Venables and Robert Thompson after they murdered the toddler.” On February 29 of 2000, it was the American medias’ turn to give another sad news that reported an incident in which a girl, Kayla Renee Rolland of Mount Morris, Michigan, lost her life, fatally shot by a six-year-old school mate. And in Italy, the case regarded a tragic incident that occurred when a "twenty-year-old policeman, while joking with his seventeen-year-old girlfriend, allowed her to handle his service pistol. He was eventually killed by a shot exploded by the minor, which hit him in the face from a distance of about 50 centimeters." Non-fatal but non less serious incidents abound and cases involving minors causing bodily harm to people and destruction to properties are common. Examples are: -
i) - a boy for fun sets fire to the property of another, causing damage to the owner.
ii) – another, by an act that could be qualified as bullying, in a gang-up with other minors, exploiting the vulnerability and fragility of an age mate, attacked her, using the telephone messaging system - WhatsApp, " in such a way as to cause the aforementioned a persistent and serious state of anxiety and fear, forcing her to change her habits, for the well-founded fear for her safety and that of her loved ones"
In reaction to these unfortunate incidents, the press, first, condemned the offenders for their conducts and go further to particularly blame their parents. The question is, “could all these prejudices nurtured against these parents of the offending minors by the public in general and the press in particular, be considered just? Further, do they try to preach ethics, morals of social coexistence or are they of any legal relevance?”
Further, from the family context, what is common to all the cases is that the parents, most of all, those of the offenders are involved.
On its own side, law therefore, justice has not given them any condone because, an offence has been committed as such, someone must answer for it. “The someone” who must answer coincides in one way or another with a person, particularly the parents of the offender, who are not the material perpetrators of the fact.
And at this point, one may also ask, “to these parents, why do people and the law treat them this way? And is it right to attribute someone else's misdeeds to another? "
From legal point of view, that is, in reference to statutes and other norms designed to regulate such situations, it is necessary to clarify "whether the institution that disciplined cases of parents’ responsibility to a third party for illicit acts of minors is consistent on one hand, with the specific norms dedicated to it as inscribed in the Civil Code (with particular reference to articles 2047 and 2048) and on the other, if the consolidated jurisprudential interpretation that the courts have given to these norms are in line with their dispositions." And how do other legal systems, like that of the Great Britain and France deal with similar cases when confronted with the Italian?
This thesis tries to throw some lights but not to give the answers to these questions, to a fact that has become so intertwined in everyone’s day’ life, diffused discussions of the society, that transcends national boundaries, touching all the peoples of the world.
In its effort to justify the reasons why, in Italian legal system, the civil liability for tort committed by a minor is attributed to his/her parents, the first chapter will revisit the legal institution that disciplined the case of our discussion, that is "the institute of civil liability.” The second will look at the case study from different angles and from there, tries to build up its line of argument. The third will discuss the subject matter of the thesis particularly, in respect to the exculpatory evidence, its interpretation as to the majority opinion of the court.
As its conclusion, the thesis will try to connect the institution that disciplined cases of parents’ liability for illicit acts of minors to contemporary reality, therefore, the need for its re-elaboration