Private International Family Law

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The increase of migration flows and the movement of EU citizens within the EU has led to an increase in family relationships between citizens of different States. Therefore, it is essential to identify the legal framework of these relationships, which is no longer entrusted exclusively to the States' legislature, but they are attributed to the European Union, which is progressively building a common system of private international rules concerning family matters, as well as of rules concerning the entry and residence of foreign nationals.

The course is divided into two modules. The first one is designed to introduce theoretical general tools of private international law to be applied in cross-border family matters in order to identify the applicable law. Thus, students will acquire the correct methodological approach to "transnational families" through the analysis of current practice and the management of mock cases. The second module aims at providing legal notions relating to Italian and European citizenship and to the status of foreign-country nationals in light of national and supranational legislation, as well as at developing the ability to apply said notions in concrete situations taking advantage of the relevant judicial and administrative practice.
Expected learning outcomes
Both the teaching units of the course will be divided into two phases, aiming to specific objectives.
The first phase main target is to build the ability to apply to concrete cases the knowledge and understanding of the different principles and norms that contribute to the regulation of personal status and family relations, with a view to their practical implementation in the field of multi-level protection provided by the different courts, national, European and international. This first phase is a key enabler to develop, in the second part of each teaching unit, a solid knowledge and understanding of the basic issues relating to the juridical dimension of personal status (such as the legal status of Italian and EU citizens and of foreigners) and family relationships, in situations which imply conflict of laws, with a focus on marriage. This objective will be achieved through the comprehension of the mechanisms presiding the interaction and coordination between legal sources provided by national, European Union and international legal systems, and of the remedies offered by the different national and supranational courts.
Furthermore, the acquisition of three specific skills will be pursued continuously throughout the two teaching units, in order both to facilitate an easy access to employment and to undertake specialized studies with a high level of autonomy. First ability is to operate with high degree of autonomy within the legal framework of reference through the use of different legal research tools (institutional websites, databases, digital libraries), together with the capability to assess specific and concrete cases by an autonomous and critical interpretation of the legal sources. Second skill is to acquire a proper level of communication (according to the language chosen by each student for her/his studies) through a correct use of juridical terminology. This will enhance her/his ability to interact in multilingual contexts and to play an active role in the judicial cooperation at European and international level. Last objective is to get the capability to further and autonomously update students' knowledge to the future legislative and jurisprudential developments, and to continue their education at a master degree level.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Unit 1
Developments in Private International Law and its status in the legal framework. Origin and evolution of private international law. The issue of jurisdiction. The conflict-of-law rules. The applicable law: the treatment of foreign law.
Private International Law in family matters: marriage, matrimonial property regimes, legal separation and divorce; registered partnerships and durable relationships; protection of children; maintenance obligations.
Unit 2
Prerequisites for admission
Some basic legal notions are required in order to be able to face the course contents easily. Namely, taking into account the topics which will be addressed and the sources of law which will be used during the course, the matter of the sovereignty of the State in relation to its exercise towards the individuals (reserved domain in terms of citizenship and admission of conditions of the foreigners; the limits arising from the rules of customary international law concerning the treatment of foreigners and from international human rights law), the legal sources of international law, as well as the relationships between the international and domestic legal systems constitute the previous knowledge, which will represent the basis necessary for the study of the personal status and family relationships in cross-border situations. The acquisition of said notions can be achieved through the course of International Organizations or individual study.
Teaching methods
The teaching methodology is based on lectures coupled with oral and ppt presentations delivered by students, as well as on case-studies and case-simulations. Moreover, the relevant legislative and practice materials (made available on the course Ariel website) will be discussed through ongoing interactions among the participants.
Teaching Resources
Unit 1
- F. Mosconi, C. Campiglio, Diritto internazionale privato e processuale, Volume I - Parte generale e obbligazioni, Utet Giuridica, VIII ed., 2017, Chapters I, II (paras 1 and 2, only), III, IV (paras 8, 9, 10, 11, only).
- F. Carpaneto, F. Pesce, I. Queirolo, La "famiglia in movimento" nello spazio europeo di libertà e giustizia, Giappichelli, 2019, Chapters IV, V, VI.
Unit 2
P. Morozzo della Rocca (a cura di), Immigrazione, asilo e cittadinanza, Maggioli Editore, IV ed., 2019, limitatamente alle seguenti parti: capitolo I; capitolo II; capitolo III; capitolo IV; capitolo V; capitolo VI; capitolo VIII; ; capitolo XI.
Moreover, students are also expected to master legislative sources and practice materials which will be made available on the course Ariel website.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The knowledge acquired during the course will be checked through various assessment methods. During the course, two preliminary written tests will be held (in the form of the multiple-choice tests and an open question), aiming at monitoring the progressive acquisition of the theoretical aspects of the subject matter. In addition, the students may be requested to work on an individual written in-depth study which will allow to evaluate the ability to read and interpret the complex situations related to the current dynamics of the cross-border interpersonal relationships in legal terms, as well as to apply the main concepts of private international law in case studies with a problem-solving approach. In the event of positive evaluation in these individual homeworks, the students will have the possibility to achieve an increase of the final mark up to 1 point. The oral examination will be intended mainly for those who will not take the aforementioned partial tests and for those, who will not achieve at least the mark of 18/30 in both preliminary tests. In the written tests and oral examination, the students will be required to demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of the subject matter, their ability to apply the legal notions and to analyze the complex phenomena that characterize the current dynamics of the transnational interpersonal relationships. The ability of critical argumentation using the appropriate technical and legal language will also be evaluated.
Teaching Unit 1
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Teaching Unit 2
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Valkova Lenka
Every Tuesday at 16.30. During the emergency, students can contact prof. Valkova by email and arrange a meeting through Microsoft Teams
Every Tuesday at 16.30. During the emergency, students can contact prof. Villata by email and arrange a meeting through Microsoft Teams
Room 29, Third Floor, Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies