Course content and purpose
Key elements of the history of European law.
The course aims to describe the evolution of European law from the Middle Ages to the present day, with a special focus on the invention and development of the means used in that time span to govern, administer justice, determine legality, and defend individual and social rights. The 'historical' nature of law requires those who study it to sharpen their critical and logical thinking skills. In this way, they can first identify the conflicting interests in play at any given time in history, while taking into account the different institutional, economic and social contexts, and then identify the criteria chosen to balance those conflicting interests. Over the course of history, such criteria has been determined by legislators, professors, lawyers and judges, who have all held varying weights and roles in the functioning of domestic and international institutions. Furthermore, a historical perspective on legal studies is of fundamental importance to understanding how contemporary systems have come to be; indeed, teaching such a perspective can highlight both the rifts and the continuity in the mutualistic relationship between sources of laws and institutions.
Other learning objectives include refining students' comparative analysis skills, as well as encouraging students to find connections between legal history and political history, social history and the history of ideas. An additional objective is to analyze some public- and private-law institutions. Only by examining the different aspects of legal culture and practice throughout history, including the present day, can students successfully acquire the interpretive skills needed to understand law, both in its entirety and in isolated situations that must be evaluated by looking at the facts on a case by case basis. Furthermore, this type of approach will allow students to become fully aware of the theoretical and practical implications that each institution can have, especially if its diachronic development is correctly analyzed.
EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES
Applying knowledge and understanding
Students will have to demonstrate that they have acquired appropriate language and the ability to understand the various techniques of legal reasoning, as well as the ability to collect, analyze and select data based on context. Students will also have to know and understand the basic notions underlying the development of European law, and be able to reflect upon the distinctive features of Western legal culture.
The above-mentioned skills shall also be achieved through critical reflection on the part of students, which will be stimulated by classroom activities that revolve around texts that have been suggested for individual study or for optional research.
The acquisition of these abilities will be verified through a self-assessment test on the Ariel web portal, and lastly, through an (optional) written exercise. Details on how the written exercise will be carried out shall be provided during the lessons.
The course is designed to teach students the ability to write legal texts, as well as to reflect on practical matters by taking an in-depth look at particular cases and issues. To that end, all theoretical subjects shall be accompanied by the following: examination of original documents and texts in class; sources made available for download on the Ariel web portal; and slides projected during the lessons, which will help students approach the textbook and make the content of the subject matter more immediately comprehensible and usable.
Students will have to demonstrate that they have acquired critical awareness, management skills, flexibility, and a capacity for research into the many elements that make up the historical side of law as it relates to the foundations of Western legal knowledge.
Students will have to demonstrate that they are able to write and speak to scholars of historical area about the concepts learned during the course, utilizing coherent argumentation, methodical precision and correct language.
Students will have to demonstrate that they are able to understand the mutualistic relationship between sources of law and institutions. They will also have to demonstrate a strong capacity for analysis and reflection in terms of legal issues, both past and present.
Students will have to be able to determine how legal doctrine and practice have evolved in terms of the structure of the primary legal institutions, as well as in the relationships between institutions, intermediate bodies and individuals. Students shall develop this ability in such a way that it can be of use to them should they decide to pursue a postgraduate advanced degree or doctoral degree, whether in Italy or abroad.
Roots in the early Middle Ages. The age of the Germanic kingdoms, feudalism: overview.
The age of classical jus commune, 12th-15th centuries: public institutions; the glossators; classical canon law; the commentators; legal praxis and school; local law and particular law; the system of sources; the formation of common law.
The age of absolutism, 16th-18th centuries: constitutional monarchy and types of legal norms; the legal profession and institutions; equity and common law; the 'scuola culta'; practicing jurists; Second Scholasticism; natural law; crisis in the jus commune.
The age of reforms, 18th-19th centuries: law during the Enlightenment; eighteenth-century reforms; law and the French Revolution.
The age of codification, 19th-20th centuries, overview.
Padoa Schioppa, Storia del diritto in Europa - Dal medioevo all'età contemporanea, Il Mulino 2016, second edition, enlarged and corrected, from Late Antiquity to the Age of Reforms.
A. Please note:
· A detailed course syllabus with all the necessary information, including exam dates, will be handed out at the first lesson. The same syllabus will then be published on the professor's web page, where all additional information regarding the course will be made available.
· Professor Parini's office hours are on Wednesday from 12.30. to 13.30. She also tutors two hours a week during the second semester: her tutoring calendar will be published shortly. Any changes will be announced on the Department's website and on the Ariel web portal.