IUS/19 - 10 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Knowledge and understanding
Students have to prove to be able to orient themselves in the secular European legal experience, and to understand continuity and turning points that mark the “times” of Western history. From Middle Age to the rediscovery of Justinian’s texts, from the Absolutist State to the age of codification, to get to the major themes of the "crisis of law" in the age of globalization.
Applying knowledge and understanding
The course aims to stimulate students’ critical reflection on the intersections of legal dimension with other institutional frameworks (economy, politics, religion, mentality, routines, etc.) that contribute to structure social life within the same context. Students will be challenged to develop the understanding of historical and legal sources, and to cultivate the comparison between legal systems of Civil Law and Common Law tradition.
Autonomy and independence of judgement
During the lessons, the teacher will ask students to speak on specific points to verify, refine and increase critical and judgmental skills. For example, during the lessons, with regard to a historical period, or to a legal institution from the past, or to an important point of the legal experience covered by the course, students will be asked to create links with the present or with other contexts to explane the differences.
Communication skills
Organized in small groups, students will present posters, wordclouds or powerpoints on topics covered in class.
Learning ability
To proceed independently in the study, the student will be provided with information on the use of the main research tools: databases; libraries; magazines; collections of sentences; archives.

Course Structure

Lectures. In the event that the course should follow restrictive rules of health prevention, the lessons could be held in remote or mixed mode.

The course aims to introduce the student to the plural character of justice and law in different European contexts, from the early Middle Ages to the dawn of the contemporary age.
In a broad perspective, highlighting the connections, persistencies, transformations, and major caesuras, we will focus on political imagery and the intertwining of law and other normative orders (economics, religion, mentality, routine, etc.), the formation of the jurist and the discursive practices of lawmakers, judges and jurists, systems of repression, rites of justice, factors of formation of national laws, legal traditions that have been shared or that have characterized European countries.
Particular attention will be devoted to the dissolution of medieval corporatism and the advent of the individualist paradigm.

Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Detailed Course Content

The transition from the ancient world to the Middle Ages

Custom as primary source of law in the Middle Ages

The rebirth of the study of law and the formation of ius commune

The role of legal science

The crisis of the sixteenth century: legal Humanism and the school of Salamanca

The conquest of the New World: key issues and debates

The advent of a new normative reality: local laws and regal government

The historical gap between "civil law" and "common law".

The legal schools of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries: natural law theories, individualism and contractualism

French Revolution and Law

The idea of codification: comparison models

The constitutions of the Napoleonic period

Textbook Information

Antonio Padoa Schioppa, Storia del diritto in Europa. Dal medioevo all’età contemporanea, Il Mulino, Bologna, 20162, pp. 13-494.

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