Course 2005-2006 a.y.



Department of Legal Studies

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 17
DIEM (6 credits - I sem. - CC)
Course Director:

Classes: 17 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course is designed to offer a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of Italian private law.
After a brief discussion of the main legal principles and the relevant sources of law, the course deals with several issues related to the law of property, torts and contracts.
Starting from the rules governing Italian law, the selected topics are addressed in a broader European perspective, taking into account the influence of Community legislation, as well as the most recent developments in the progressive harmonization and unification of European private law.

Course Content Summary

  • General introduction: the notions of legal rule and legal system - a comparative approach to legal systems: common law, civil law and beyond - the sources of law within the Italian legal system - the Constitution - EU and EC Treaties - Community legislation - the Civil Code - statutes and regulations - the role of courts and legal scholars.
  • Natural persons and legal entities - rights and remedies - the enforcement of rights and other protected interests in court - the procedural perspective - limitation of action.  
  • Topics in the law of property: ownership and possession - basic elements.  
  • Topics in the law of obligations: sources - performance - default - excuses - liability - remedies.
  • Topics in the law of contracts: enforceability of promises - the notion of agreement - nominate and innominate contracts - requisites of the contract - contract formation: offer and acceptance - pre-contractual duty to inform - liability for breaking off negotiations - contract interpretation (construction) - default rules and mandatory rules - invalidity - performance - breach - excuses - termination - remedies - the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL). 
  • Topics in the law of torts: a comparative overview of different approaches to the law of torts in Europe - the general provision of article 2043 c.c. -strict liability vs. negligence - wrongfulness - causation - compensation - damages - joint and several liability - vicarious liability - environmental liability - products liability.  

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Two intermediate written exams.


  • G. IUDICA, P. ZATTI, Rules and Language of Italian Private Law. An Introduction (Italian ed. Linguaggio e regole del diritto privato, Cedam, 2003) translated by J. FUNCK, edited by S. LIEBMAN and A. MONTI.

Additional materials will be distributed in class.

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 16/06/2005 00:00