Access to justice in a multilevel constitutional system

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course examines the fundamental legal tools and safeguards granting human rights' effectiveness in view of sustainable development. The course follows a constitutional approach in a European perspective focusing on the analysis of the multilevel system to protect human rights in the European legal framework. The right to a fair trial in particular, with its main guarantees (from the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal to the right to obtain the execution of judgments), constitutes the basic prerequisite for any investigation on the protection and implementation of fundamental rights. Under this aspect, EU and CoE law play a crucial role in identifying the common contents of the access to justice through the so-called "autonomous notions" developed in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights. The equivalent national guarantees are taken into consideration dedicating a specific attention also to the analysis of interaction between the European level of protection and the national one.
The course thus aims at:
- analyzing the different systems of protection of human rights (EU law; CoE, and national level);
- examining the European law framework;
- analyzing the relationship between the European law system (UE and CoE) and the domestic one;
- examining the relevant European and domestic case law.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- interpret the European legal framework on the access to justice;
- understand and evaluate critically the relevant jurisprudence developed by the European Courts and by the domestic Supreme Courts;
- understand and evaluate critically the relationship between the European and the national guarantees protecting the access to justice;
- use their communication skills (written and oral) in this field, including arguing convincingly, with logical and legal thoroughness and propriety of legal language.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Part I. An overview of national and regional systems for human rights protection
1. Structure, jurisdiction and purpose.
2. Models of integration, cooperation and coordination of different levels of protection.

Part II. The challenge of human rights effectiveness: the right to a fair trial
1. Key aspects of the right of access to a Court.
2. Challenges and limitations on the right of access to justice.
3. Individual application to the European Court of Human Rights.

Part III. Instrumental rights v substantive rights.
4. Comparison between the national and supranational case-law concerning the right to a fair trial as the main instrumental right.
5. The right to a fair trial as a key to protect the rights to life, health, environment and housing.
Prerequisites for admission
LLM students must have passed all the exams of the first year.
In any case a good command over constitutional, European and international law is recommended.
A level B2 of English is required.
Teaching methods
Class attendance is mandatory (three-fourths lessons required).
The course is structured on lectures, case-studies, work-in-team.
Students are called to examine the ECJ, the ECtHR and the domestic jurisprudences. They must participate to the activities carried out in class.
Teaching Resources
A list of suggested and mandatory readings and the didactic material is available on-line (ARIEL). The detailed course programme is provided at the beginning of the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Students are evaluated through partial exams taken during the course (case-studies, work-in-team and individual presentations). The assessment will take into account: the knowledge of the programme contents, the ability for critical reasoning and for comprehensive and thorough oral presentation, the capacity to apply the formal language acquired. It will be also avaluated the ability for working in team and to contribute to the discussion during the course.
The final mark consists of the average of the marks obtained in the partial exams. Those students who do not accept the average mark can register for an oral colloquium during the official exam sessions.
IUS/08 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Randazzo Barbara