Law, history and culture

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second trimester
Course syllabus
The course aims to illustrate, in its essentials, the evolution of modern and contemporary history of law, even in its connections with the political choices that made up the assumptions, particularly with regard to codification.
The emphasis is on reforms that, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, changed the face of European law, resulting in a shift from ius commune to that "codicistico". Some constants are of course referring to the comparative history, extending beyond the national framework in a European perspective and the search for interrelationships between legal history and political and social history.
Knowledge and understanding: The course aims to describe the evolution of European law from XVIIIth century to the present day. 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.

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.

Making Judgements: 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.

Communication skills: 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.

Learning skills: 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.
IUS/19 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL AND MODERN LAW - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
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