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Social sciences and humanities


single-cycle master degrees (5 years) in LAW

Course year 3
Teaching units Unit Storia del diritto moderno e contemporaneo
History and Law (lesson)
  • TAF: Basic compulsory subjects SSD: IUS/19 CFU: 6
Teachers: Carmelo Elio TAVILLA
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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Carmelo Elio TAVILLA


The course aims to provide a critical overview of Italian and European legal history from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. The teaching methods used to present the topics intend to stimulate the student's critical thinking, his sense of historical continuity and his understanding of the social foundations and of the cultural and economic aspects of legal phenomena.

Admission requirements

It is recommended to study preliminarily History of Medieval and Modern Law.

Course contents

For all students:

I - 1 cfu
a) State and constitution
b) Subjective rights
c) Codes

II- 2 credits
History of law and criminal procedure
a) Negotiated justice, hegemonic justice, criminal law, action and proof, penalties, repressive apparatuses, criminal practices, the scientific autonomy of criminal law, the modern state and expansion of the criminal law, the model of the Inquisition, the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina, criminal reforms and codification, judge and trial, Napoleonic criminal law, jurists and criminal law, "civil" criminal law, emergency legislation, fascism and authoritarian criminal law, republican Italy, criminal crisis , the hypertrophic criminal law, the security state
b) Death penalty, Zanardelli code, Positive school

III. 3 credits
Legal history of commercial law
a) The sources of commercial law: fair law, statutes of the arti, usages and customs, sovereign regulatory acts, codes.
b) Commercial justice and aequitas mercatoria: fair courts, mercanzia courts, commercial courts of the Ancient Regime, commercial justice in contemporary epoch.
c) Techniques and instruments of commercial law : the bill of exchange, trade partnerships and companies, banking and finance.

For attending students (only for the winter sessions of December, January and February):
Topics covered in class and any teaching materials made available by the teacher.
For non-attending students:
Jurists and the fascist regime.
The racial laws

Teaching methods

The course is offered in the presence and in italian. The learning will be supported by the study of the reference texts mentioned in the program, for the better understanding of which is highly recommended frequency of the lessons of the teacher. The lessons do not exclude moments of discussion and debate, both in the lesson, both in meetings from time to time scheduled, even at the request of students.

Assessment methods

The oral examination will be done in a single final exam. The examination will consist of three questions at least. The student will demonstrate an understanding of non-trivial issues addressed in the reference texts and supplemented by the lessons of the teacher. The student must also demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Italian language and of an acceptable clarity.

Learning outcomes

1. A good knowledge of the issues addressed to in the reference texts and during lessons.
2. The ability to connect the issues to the relevant socio-historical dynamics that leads to the understanding of legal phenomena.
3. Critical understanding of the issues, coupled with a certain degree of independent judgment.
4. Command of the Italian language, clarity, consistency.
5. Historical and comparative contextualization skill, necessary for a proper learning of the law in force.


1) Maurizio FIORAVANTI (cur.), Lo Stato moderno in Europa. Istituzioni e diritto, 14a ed., Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015 (anche in formato digitale), capp. 1, 2, 4 e 7
2) Francesco GALGANO, Lex mercatoria, il Mulino, Bologna, 2016, capp. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
1) Maurizio FIORAVANTI (cur.), Lo Stato moderno in Europa. Istituzioni e diritto, 14a ed., Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015 (anche in formato digitale)
2) Giorgio RESTA e Vincenzo ZENO-ZENCOVITCH (curr.), Leggi razziali - Passato/Presente, RomaTrE-Press, Roma 2015 (scaricabile gratuitamente in formato digitale:,