Comparative and European Public law [Cognomi A-L] (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Francesco Palermo
Francesco Palermo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 30, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course explains the functioning of the main instruments of public law and EU law in a comparative perspective.
It provides information on the different legal traditions of the world, on their influence on constitutional structures, as well as on the regulation of economic activities through the lens of the comparative methodology.
The course provides students with skills such as understanding, assessing and processing the regulatory framework in which they will operate in their professional trajectory. The comparative analysis of phenomena helps understand global trends and design better solutions for specific (legal) problems.


The course is divided in two parts.
The first one explains the legal phenomenon, providing basic notions of public and constitutional law, of the sources of law and of the comparative method. It focuses in particular on the different legal traditions of the world (civil law, common law, African law, mixed jurisdictions, religious law - Islamic, Hindu, Hebrew law), their interactions, legal borrowings. Students will be thus be confronted with the cultural context in which law is embedded and with the consequences such context has in the functioning of institutional mechanisms.
The second part focuses on constitutions (their genesis, protection, amendment), on the organization of power, both horizontally (forms of government) and vertically (territorial division of powers: federalism and regionalism), on judicial review of legislation and on the role of (constitutional) courts. Special attention will be devoted to the European Union, its functioning and its regulatory system. Students will thus be provided with basic knowledge on the functioning of institutions and societies.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
DISPENSE Gli studenti frequentanti potranno basare la propria preparazione prevalentemente su dispense fornite dal docente. E' consigliabile la lettura di uno dei manuali e i testi delle costituzioni  
L. Pegoraro, A. Rinella Sistemi costituzionali comparati Giappichelli 2017 Per studenti non frequentanti

Assessment methods and criteria

Exams are organized as follows:
- Students who attended the course will be offered the opportunity to take a written examination (multiple choice as well as open questions). An oral exam can be taken instead of or in addition to the written test.
- Students who did not attend the course: oral examination.

Goals of the exams:
- The written test evaluates the knowledge acquired during the course and the student’s ability to use such knowledge to correctly frame and to solve legal issues. It consists in both multiple-choice and open questions on topics explained in the classroom. The written test is evaluated and marked and students can integrate it with an oral exam.
- The oral exam for those who did not attend classes (or did not take the written test) is based on the whole syllabus and checks:
a) the acquired knowledge;
b) the ability to present them, including with appropriate legal language and terminology;
c) the capacity to connect and systematically apply the knowledge
d) analytical and argumentative skills
The mere repetition of the textbook is not sufficient to pass the exam. Rather, critical thinking and analysis are encouraged .
Students who decide not to attend the classes are invited to study on the textbook only. Give the profound differences in methodology and approach between classes and the textbook, it is recommended to take only one, consistent approach. Classes and the related teaching materials are designed for active explanation by the teacher, while the textbook can be read autonomously. In particular, it is recommended for students not attending the classes to study on the textbook only and not on the slides.

ERASMUS students are invited to contact professor Palermo ( at the beginning of the course in order to discuss teaching methods and assessment tests.

Students interested in writing the graduation paper in this field are encouraged to propose a topic, which will then discussed and specified with the supervisor.