Course 2005-2006 a.y.



Department of Legal Studies

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 8
CLEA (6 credits - II sem. - CC)
Course Director:

Classes: 8 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course has the aim of providing students with a basic knowledge of comparative public law and European law both from a theoretical and practical standpoint with particular reference to sources of law, forms of state and government, electoral systems, decentralisation and constitutional justice. It also deals with the history and development of the European Union with particular attention to its institutional framework and legislative role.

Course Content Summary

Part 1: Comparative public law

  • Science and method of comparative law; language in comparative law.
  • Constitutions and constitutionalism. Flexible and rigid constitutions. Constitutional amendment.
  • Comparative sources of law. Common law vs. civil law.
  • Forms of state, forms of government and Electoral Systems.
  • Federalism, regionalism and devolution. Functional and structural asymmetry.
  • Constitutional justice: composition, role and functions of Constitutional and Supreme Courts in a comparative perspective. The fundamental aspects of the American and European models of constitutional review. Classification of Court judgments and analysis of decision-making techniques.
  • Rights and freedoms. Economic and social rights in the case law of European Constitutional Courts.

Part 2: European Union law

  • Institutional framework of the Union: Council, Commission, Parliament and the European Court of Justice.
  • The main legislative procedures in the EU. The legal effect of regulations and directives.
  • The doctrine of direct effect. Primacy/supremacy of EU law over the national law of the member state.
  • Division of powers in relation to EU Law.
  • The implementation of European obligations as a source of disagreement between central and devolved governments.
  • Mechanisms available to the State for ensuring the implementation and compliance with EU law.
  • The power to legislate on behalf of or instead of the sub-national governments.
  • Judicial Control and the protection of fundamental rights within the European Union: The structure and functioning of the European Court of Justice: Direct remedies before the Court and preliminary references.
  • A look to the future: the European Constitution.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Attending students
Written exam at the end of the semester

Non attending students
Oral exam


  • J.O. FROSINI, L. PEGORARO, T. WALLER (eds), The Italian Constitution. Text and Notes, Bologna, Libreria Bonomo Editrice, latest edition. 
  • Further readings will be indicated at the beginning of the course.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 17/06/2005 00:00