Dr. Alessandra Santangelo

Research fellow in Criminal Law, Department of Legal Studies, University of Bologna

Duration of Stay
October 2022September 2023

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard

Foto: privat

Dr Alessandra Santangelo (*1989) is research fellow in Criminal Law at the Alma Mater Research Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence – (Alma AI), Department of Legal Studies, University of Bologna. She obtained her PhD in Legal Studies from the University of Bologna, developing her research on predictability in the criminal sphere towards the interconnections between national and supranational jurisdictions. She was visiting researcher at Queen Mary University London (2019) as well as at the Goethe University Frankfurt (2021). Previously, she obtained an LLM, with specialisation in European Law, at King’s College London (2013). Her research has focused on predictability of criminal norms, analysing the possible convergence between common law and civil law legal orders. On the subject, she recently published a book with Giappichelli editor (2022). Currently, she is working on the applications of predictive algorithms in the criminal process. In particular, her ongoing research analyses a specific computational language which might support judicial interpretation at the national level, fostering the identification of relevant line of precedents as well as encouraging consistency within national criminal courts.

Research Project Title
In Predictive Algorithms We Trust?

Research abstract
Algorithmic predictions are being used ubiquitously in our algorithmic societies, inter alia in credit scoring, individualized advertisements – and also in the realm of criminal law and justice. Use cases of algorithmic predictions include predictive policing, predictive charging and algorithmic risk assessment as well as algorithmic proportionality checks during sentencing. I ask: (Why) would we put (justified, blind etc.?) trust in algorithmic predictions? (How) is trust in predictions related to the underlying conflicts in criminal law and justice? And (how) do algorithmic predictions, and our trust in them, cope with the uncertainty of the future (possibly by closing the future, and by supposedly rendering it predictable in the present)? In asking these questions, I inquire into how algorithmic predictions transform our traditional principles of criminal law & justice.

Publications (selection)
Santangelo, A. (2022), Precedente e prevedibilità. Profili di deontologia ermeneutica nell’era del diritto penale giurisprudenziale, Giappichelli ed.
Santangelo, A. (2020), Irreducible Life Sentences and Rehabilitation. A Point of Juncture between Strasbourg and Rome, in The Italian Law Journal (ESI), 2, 520-535.
Santangelo, A. (2019), Ai confini tra common law e civil law: la prevedibilità del divieto nella giurisprudenza di Strasburgo, in Rivista italiana di diritto e procedura penale (Giuffrè ed), 1, 332-357.
Santangelo, A. (2019), La rivoluzione dolce del principio rieducativo tra Roma e Strasburgo, in Cassazione penale (Giuffrè ed), 10, 3769-3785.
Santangelo, A. (2018), Profili attuali della soggezione del giudice alla “legge” e della vincolatività del precedente, in Diritto penale contemporaneo – Rivista trimestrale, 4, 50-64.