Scienza e diritto in tribunale

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Science and law in court

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Science and law can be seen as the main creators of orders and rules in knowledgebased societies. These relations are particularly delicate in domains where scientific uncertainty and probabilistic causality are more frequently involved, such as environment and health. The decision of the Court of Florence (Tuscany Region, Northern Italy) (Second Criminal Division, 3217/2010, 17th May 2010) – here analysed – deals with the uncertain correlations between PM10 and health. The criminal law case involved some public officers in Tuscany, indicted for having failed to adopt the adequate measures to keep PM10 levels within the limits set by European Directive 2008/50/EC on air quality. In arguing that accusations were ill-founded, the Court, while invoking the validity of science, deliberately chose the scientific evidence relevant to drawing specific legal consequences. Meteorological phenomena are considered as the single determinant of high levels of PM10; their uncertainty is framed as absolute unpredictability and ungovernability, and from these flaws non-responsibility. The concept of coproduction is applied as a useful critical tool to open up the complex relationships between science and law by showing how scientific and legal concepts generate and influence each other even when legal regulations claims to be neutrally and objectively science-based.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Science and law in court
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalEpidemiologia e prevenzione
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • PM10
  • incertezza scientifica
  • science and law
  • scienza e diritto
  • scineitific uncertainty


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