Paola Pannia

Dynamics of an Exclusion: Romani People on Trial

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Thanks to multiculturalism, the recognition of the "cultural factor" has earned a place also before Criminal Courts. However, this new conquest can be counterproductive to the aim of a better diversity management by judges. In particular, this paper aims to show how the (social, political, economic, cultural) exclusion that affects the Romani people can be reinforced inside the Courts, through the (ab)use of the "cultural argument". In particular, the analysis of some cases of "use of minors on begging activities" (art. 600 "octies" of Italian Criminal Code) will be useful to verify: a) whether the judicial reasoning is correct, both from an anthropological and juridical sense; b) whether the judicial reasoning is effective, according to its goal to protect Romani minors. The study will reveal that judges sometimes use (and automatically foster) stereotypes and prejudices generated from the feelings of the mainstream culture.

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