The issue of «Meridiana» analyses counter-terrorism and mafia strategies over the course of Italian history from a double viewpoint (both legal and historical). The contributions of the different authors follow the evolution of criminal, substantive and procedural rules while identifying a unitary, «emerging» trait. Exceptionality, which has become one of the permanent characteristics of the Italian criminal justice system. The studies of some famous cases highlights the twists of the legal categories, the use of repentants, and the close collaboration between the judges and the public prosecutors. Risky interference between historiography and procedure requires that the criminal dimension be returned to the last link in the chain of countering terrorism and the mafia. The choice is necessary to safeguard criminal guarantees and respect the canons of «due process of law».
Keywords: Historical and legal analysis; Terrorism and mafia; Exceptionality.