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Social sciences and humanities

Subject: HISTORY OF EUROPEAN LAW (A.A. 2020/2021)


Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Storia del Diritto Europeo
History and Law (lesson)
  • TAF: Basic compulsory subjects SSD: IUS/19 CFU: 6
Teachers: Pierpaolo BONACINI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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Pierpaolo BONACINI


The course aims to offer a critical synthesis of the main phases of Italian and European legal history between the Middle Ages and the contemporary age (XI-XIX centuries).
The themes and problems will be dealt with in teaching and exhibition modes able to encourage students critical spirit, sense of historical continuity and awareness of the social, cultural and economic foundations of legal phenomena.

Admission requirements

It's useful to know the main institutions of Roman law and the basic elements of Italian and European political-institutional history between the eleventh and nineteenth centuries. It is also essential to have a good command of the Italian language.

Course contents

1. The age of classical Ius Commune (12th-15th centuries)
2. The modern age (16th-18th centuries)
3. Reforms, revolutions, codes (18th-19th centuries)

Teaching methods

Please note that the lessons of the course are available remotely in digital records (Blended course). Learning will also be helped, as well as by the study of the manual indicated in the program, by the availability of 20 registered "video-pills" dedicated to summarizing the main topics of the study program. The course is held in the second semester (February-May 2021) and therefore the lessons will take place in presence or at a distance depending on how the health situation will evolve related to the spread of the virus COVID19. In both cases the lessons will take place with the help of slides prepared by the teacher in order to outline the contents and the most relevant passages of the topics covered.

Assessment methods

The exam will be taken in oral form in a single final test and will be divided into at least three questions for an average duration of about 20-30 minutes. The questions are intended to assess the autonomous capacity of each candidate to deal with the proposed topics in a sufficiently comprehensive manner.

Learning outcomes

1. Nontrivial knowledge of the topics addressed in the study programme (and, for attending students, in the teacher’s lessons).

2. Ability to connect the issues addressed with the historical-social dynamics of reference, with a view to a not simplified understanding of legal phenomena.

3. Critical understanding of the topics studied, enriched by a certain degree of autonomy of judgment.

4. Mastery of the Italian language, expositive clarity, argumentative coherence.

5. Development of historical and comparative contextualization tools which are essential for a better understanding of positive law.


Gli studenti frequentanti e non frequentanti sono tenuti a studiare il seguente testo:
Antonio PADOA SCHIOPPA, Storia del diritto in Europa. Dal medioevo all’età contemporanea, Bologna, Il Mulino, pp. 75-370 e pp. 391-472 (nella prima edizione del 2007); pp. 85-494 (nella seconda edizione del 2016).