In Italy, six researchers and a government official have been convicted of manslaughter in connection with the April 6, 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. Prior to the earthquake, the city had been experiencing 2-3 minor shocks each day for four months. The group was called in to give their assessment of the risk of a possible earthquake, and the reports seemed to suggest the possibility of an earthquake was low. A week later, the city was hit by a 6.9 quake that killed 309 people. The group members now each face 6 years in prison. While citizens of L’Aquila seem to agree with the verdict, the scientific community has expressed wide-spread dismay. The group currently plan to appeal the conviction. [Full story from the BBC]
The library has a number of books on the Italian legal system, as well as access to electronic resources, like the Italian Yearbook of International Law. You can also get a quick primer of Italian law on Foreign Law Guide and Globalex.