The purposes of the course are: to familiarize students with the historical developments of the constitutional system of the United States; to increase students' knowledge of the current fundamental features of the constitutional system of the United States; to equip students with the intellectual tools necessary to properly analyze some of the most vexed issues of contemporary Western constitutionalism. At the end of the course students will have an in-depth knowledge of the course topics and will also acquire a reasoning method suitable for dealing with more specific and complex legal issues.
Expected learning outcomes
- Knowledge and understanding: students shall have a thorough understanding of the Constitution's allocation of governmental authority and of the powers and limitations of each of the three branches of government. - Applying knowledge and understanding: students shall be able to employ notions acquired during the course to the understanding of current events, ongoing case law and pending constitutional reforms; - Making judgements: students shall be able to make accurate judgments on the constitutional law issues that allow students to assess the importance, but also the critical points, of the comparative methodology; - Communication: students shall be able to express notions and opinions correctly, using the appropriate terminology; - Lifelong learning skills: students shall acquire good individual study skills.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Early Constitutional History: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 and Ratification of the Constitution, and the Origins of the Bill of Rights; Separation of powers: Powers of Congress, the Executive Branch and the Judiciary; Structural Limitations on the Powers of the Federal Government: Federalism; Introduction to the Bill of Rights and the Incorporation debate.
Professors will use: a) lectures; b) thematic insights proposed to students
1. Non-attending Students required text: G. Bognetti, Lo spirito del costituzionalismo americano II - La Costituzione democratica, Torino, Giappichelli, 2000. A full understanding of the Constitution of the U.S. is assumed.
2. Attending Students required text: L. Stroppiana, Stati Uniti, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013. There also are supplemental readings. They will be available on ARIEL at the beginning of the semester.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Grades will be based on oral examination. In the colloquium, students have to demonstrate that they are familiar with the concepts and relationships of the subject matter of the course and are able to classify questions and problems in the contexts of the subject matter.