Libertà di ricerca scientifica come limite all’intervento penale?

The essay aims at exploring the relationship between criminal law and freedom of scientific research. It focuses on both the possible criminalization of conducts that constitute exercise of freedom of research and on the possible value of freedom of research as justification. The author highlights that freedom of scientific research is a constitutional right that may nevertheless affect other interests having the same rank (e.g. environment, health). Accordingly, restrictions to this right based on criminal law should be permissible only on the grounds of a fair balance between the interests at stake. The essay frames this analysis focusing on the different layers of exercise of freedom of scientific research, including pure research, experimental research and use of the results. The essay calls for a limited resort to criminal law in this field, in light of the fact that, if balancing freedom of research and other interests does not necessarily lead to the so called slippery slope, it may nevertheless provide grounds for a more effective protection of the interests which are more frequently impacted by the exercise of freedom of research.