Laudatio of Prof. Dr. Uberto Gatti for the European Criminology Award of the European Society of Criminology

Barbara Gualco

Barbara Gualco

Università degli Studi di Firenze - UniFI


Professor Gatti graduated in Medicine and Surgery, specialising in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Criminology. Professor Gatti has been at the forefront of academic and clinical Criminology in Europe and around the world for more than 40 years now. He is a leading world figure in the field and has made a singular and sustained contribution to the study and practice of Criminology in Europe.  He has authored and co-authored 282 publications over the past 40 years. In 2011 he won the Richard J. Terrill Paper of the Year Award for the best scientific article of the year published in the journal International Criminal Justice Review.

Gatti’s work encompasses quantitative and qualitative research in a wide variety of areas of Criminology. In addition, he also writes widely for non-scholarly audiences, thereby bringing research findings from Criminology to a much wider audience.

With regards to his scientific research activity, Prof. Gatti has dealt in particular with problems relating to the relationship between the characteristics of the community and delinquency, the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency, the phenomenology of homicide, drug addiction, and Victimology.

He carried out research activities at the Criminology Department of the Université de Montréal (1968-1969, Ford Foundation Fellowship) and at the Institute of Criminology of the University of Cambridge (1983, Council of Europe Fellowship). From 1978 to 1986 he worked as a consultant at the Services for the Protection of Motherhood, Childhood and Developmental Age of the Municipality of Genoa, participating in the organisation of the network of structures aimed at the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency.

In 1982 he was appointed expert of the Council of Europe within the Committee on "Sexual behaviour and attitudes and their implications for criminal law", with the task of organising the "Fifteenth Criminological Research Conference” which took place in Strasbourg, October 8th of 1982. From 1988 to 1993 he was a member of the Conseil Scientifique Criminologique of the Council of Europe, and as Chairman he organised and directed, in November of 1993, the "Twentieth Criminological Research Conference of the Council of Europe: Psychosocial interventions in the criminal justice system". His work in the Council of Europe continued and, from 1996 to 1999, he was a member of the Council’s Committee of Experts on Crime Trends.

In 1990 he taught for one semester at the Criminology Department of the University of Ottawa (Canada) and for one semester at the School of Criminology of the Université de Montréal (Quebec, Canada). In 1992-93 he lectured for one semester at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), where he then held, from 2005 to 2010, the official course on the History of Criminology.

From 1995 to 2011 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre International de Criminologie Comparée(Montréal, Canada). In 1996 he was a founding member of the International Network for Research on Restorative Justice for Juveniles. In 1997, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice of the Argentine Republic, he held a training course in Buenos Aires for all the staff of three new experimental prisons for young adult prisoners,. Since 1998 he has been a Research Collaborator of the Research Unit on Children's Psycho-Social Maladjustment (GRIP) of the Université de Montréal.

In 2000 he collaborated as a founding member in the establishment of the European Society of Criminology, of which he was elected member of the Executive Board in 2005. From 2002 to 2008 he was President of the Italian Society of Criminology. In 2002 he collaborated as a scientific consultant in an ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics) working group for the review of judicial statistics. Since 2006 he has been a member, as an expert, of the Regional Council for Urban Safety at the Ligurian territory.

He has organised, coordinated, and conducted numerous research projects funded by the National Research Council, the Ministry of Justice, the National Centre for Prevention and Social Defence, the International Centre for Clinical Criminology, the MIUR (PRIN 2005 as National Coordinator; MURST 2001 as Local manager), the European Union (for AAA Prevent and the 7th Framework Program – Health Theme – as National Manager), by the Municipality of Genoa, and by the Liguria Region.

He is part of EUROGANG, which brings together European and American experts on the study of gangs and has participated in the organisation of the three editions of the International Self-Report Delinquency Study, also coordinating the Italian group of researchers.

He is a member of numerous Editorial and Advisory Boards of scientific journals, including the European Journal of Criminology, the European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research, the Italian Journal of Criminology, Criminologie, Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police Technique et Scientifique.

In 2012, under the unanimous proposal of the Council of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Genoa, he was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor.

For me, Uberto Gatti is more than all his service to Criminology. He is a professor, a researcher, a great teacher but especially a mentor. My mentor, who transmitted to me the curiosity and passion for scientific research that always characterised him.