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Impact of Giovanni Falcone on American Society
Legacy of Judge Falcone Honored at U.S. Supreme Court

Remarks by Italian Ambassador Giulio Terzi's at the Supreme Court Seminar

I am most honored to greet and to thank the eminent participants to this seminar. We are here today not only to contribute to a comprehensive picture of the impact that Judge Falcone had on American Society. Holding this initiative also implies a clear understanding of the high moral values that the legacy of Giovanni Falcone and other victims of the organized crime represent for the American and for the Italian people. Today’s event is therefore much appreciated by the Italian institutions, as is proven by the presence of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Scotti, Minister for the Interior at the time of the heinous murder of Judge Falcone, and by The Honorable Claudio Martelli, at that time Minister of Justice.

I would especially like to thank Chief Justice Roberts for hosting us in this venue, which constitutes the expression of the highest American judiciary and the custodian of the principles of a judicial culture and democratic identity, which are fully shared also by my Country.

I am grateful to Justice Antonin Scalia, who so actively supported this initiative, and to Justice Samuel Alito for his important contributions.

Le me acknowledge, with much appreciation, the presence of
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano,
Deputy Attorney General David Ogden,
Former Director of the FBI William Session,
Deputy Director of the FBI John Pìstole, and
Judge Arthur Gajarsa, the enthusiastic promoter of this Seminar.

This exceptional gathering reflects the will and dedication of a man who fought a heroic battle against organized crime. Just a few days ago at the NIAF Gala, Judge Louis Freeh mentioned, welcoming the award to the Chief of the Italian Police Antonio Manganelli, how, at the time of  Falcone’s tragic death, American and Italian liaison officers at their respective headquarters would safely return to their homes after a day’s work while, at the same time, police officers and judges in the field were risking so much. And indeed too many lost their lives.

Judge Falcone was a key figure in suggesting, promoting, drafting and implementing new juridical instruments. He was truly at the center of new strategies. At the same time, he proved his extraordinary communication skills by making the international public opinion aware of the fundamental challenges represented by this kind of criminality for our democratic societies.
His true innovations centered on two concepts: new investigative tools and a strong international co-operation. His experience with American counterparts led to significant changes in Italian procedures.

These included, but were not limited to: a new witness protection program; a reform in the criminal code with the introduction of a specific norm, art. 41-bis., which gave a tailored framework of restrictive measures to be applied to organized crime perpetrators.

The Anti-Mafia Bureau and the Anti-Mafia Investigation Department were other key-steps that he encouraged. But the most significant achievement was probably a sustained and relentless effort in the realm of international co-operation, that was planned and implemented in a variety of ways: between Italy and the US; on a European level; on a multilateral base which later led to the adoption of the the UN Convention in December 2000.

Thanks to Judge Falcone’s vision, a network of magistrates was set up, with the task of providing institutional support to judicial co-operation in fighting organized crime and, today, anti-terrorism.

As an innovator he was a true representative of a modern judiciary, effective in preventing and combating the scourge of organized crime. At the same time, Judge Falcone seems to me to be the true interpreter of a long standing, deeply rooted Italian tradition focused on enhancement of individual rights, personal freedom, and -in one word- on the rule of law.
This is why Judge Falcone’s adherence to the fundamental values of the Italian Constitution and his acknowledgment of the importance of our legal tradition proves that, even in the most dark and dire moments for our societies, the teachings of one of the founding fathers of the Italian thought, such as Cesare Beccaria, remain deeply entrenched and -above all- current in this day and age.

As Ambassador of Italy, called among other things to assess the perception of my County abroad, I had the opportunity of witnessing, first hand, perhaps the less obvious, but not less important legacy Judge Falcone left.  As many other who died like him, such as General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa and Judge Paolo Borsellino, he was a protagonist of a crucial moment in Italian history. An Italy which tackled the terrorism and organized crime over the last three decades and hence became a different country. The work and tragic deaths of these men, a real turning point of our recent history, have transformed the image of Italy both on a national and, most significantly, on an international level. Italian institutions, civil society and younger generations acquired a new awareness of a country standing, more strongly than ever, around the values of legality and the rule of law.

These very values are embodied and carried forth by all the initiatives of Italian institutions and civil society in memory of those fallen in this fight and in the support of the survivors. Indeed, just two days ago, the Speaker of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini attended the inauguration of the Roman branch of the Scopelliti Foundation, created in 2007 by Rosanna Scopelliti. Her father was murdered by the Cosa Nostra on August 9, 1991.  The strength of these bonds is perhaps the most distinctive sign of those dramatic times and Judge Falcone’s best legacy.



Ciao a tutti gli amici di Ciao America