Three years after the enactment of Legislative Decree no. 121/2011, which amended the rules laid down by Legislative Decree no. 231/2011, introducing the new art. 25 undecies and providing for the extension of the direct liability of legal entities for certain environmental offenses, the Author makes an assessment of the liability of legal entities, key policy instrument for sustainable development of our economy, analyzing the desirable profiles of environmental reform. The research traces the birth and evolution of the liability of legal entities, focusing on the doctrinal debate on the legal nature of the same, and investigating on the analysis of the subjects that can lead responsibility for their actions on a corporate bodies, on identification of the legal entities to which the law is applicable - stressing the main application problems highlighted by doctrine and jurisprudence – on some specific aspects relating to the penalties provided by law. The survey also explores, in light of recent court decisions, the minimal requirements of the Law 231 compliance model, analyzing the profiles of desirable reform, in a logic of prevention and minimization of environmental impacts.
Keywords: Legislative Decree No. 231/2001, Environmental Offences, Direct Liability of Legal Entities, Law 231 Compliance Program, Vigilance body, Corporate Compliance Program.