Transparency and accountability v. secrecy in intelligence operations: An Italian case study

This paper deals with the Italian intelligence system from a public law perspective in the context of the tension between transparency and accountability. This paper provides a brief history of the organisation and functioning of intelligence services in Italy, from the earliest pieces of legislation to the current legal framework regulating the matter. After this diachronic analysis, the Author will focus on mechanisms designed to ensure oversight of intelligence operations and accountability of agents and on the relationship between intelligence services and the executive, as framed by laws in force and interpreted by the courts. At the same time, the relationship between intelligence services and the judiciary will be examined, specifically when the state secret privilege is invoked within criminal proceedings.