Constitutional justice

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with:
- the knowledge and understanding of essential aspects of the Italian system of constitutional justice;
- the ability to critically elaborate on the main topics of the course;
- appropriate use of legal terminology;
- the ability to develop a research methodology;
- the ability to read and understand the constitutional jurisprudence;
- the ability to apply the constitutional principles analyzed in concrete cases.
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims to fulfill the following goals: knowledge and understanding of the topics addressed; the ability to develop critical judgments.
These goals aim to empower students in their university career and in their professional future.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods
Unless otherwise specified for reasons related to the health emergency, one lesson per week will be held in presence and will be transmitted synchronously on the Microsoft Teams platform, at scheduled times; one lesson per week, however, will be held, always at scheduled times, at a distance.
All lessons will be recorded and available on Microsoft Teams and on the ARIEL platform for the entire duration of the semester.
The information on how to access the lessons on Microsoft Teams and other instructions on the teaching activities will be regularly uploaded on the ARIEL platform, which students are recommended to consult regularly.
The course will alternate different teaching techniques: lectures, seminar method, analysis of legal materials and case solutions.
Lectures may also include pre-recorded materials.

Program and reference materials
The course program is unchanged. The content of the individual lectures may be modified according to the teaching methods described above.
The reference materials are unchanged.

Methods and verification of learning and evaluation criteria
The learning verification methods and assessment criteria will not be changed. The oral examinations will take place in presence or on Microsoft Teams according to the guidelines in force at the time of the appeal.
Course syllabus
The course aims at delve into the study of the system of constitutional justice with a specific focus on the Constitutional Court's scrutiny on the constitutional legitimacy of the laws so-called "in via incidentale".
The course will be structured into frontal lessons, dedicated to the theoretical examination of the judgement "in via incidentale" and of its main features, and in practical activities based on the Constitutional Court's case-law analysis. Students will be directly engaged in the course through exercises on an assigned case.
In the 6 credits course, the following topics will be examined:
a) the legitimacy to appeal to the Italian Constitutional Court; the relevance of the issues of the constitutional issues; thema decidendum, with attention to the relationship between the Italian Constitutional Court and common judges;
b) the judgment before the Court: the procedure; the subjects of the trial; the instructive powers;
c) the typology of the Court's decisions, with particular regard to interpretative and manipulative techniques;
d) the effects of constitutional decisions.
Prerequisites for admission
In order to attend the course, students are required to have successfully passed the exams of Constitutional law and of Private law.
Teaching methods
The course will be structured into frontal lessons and practical activities. Students will be directly engaged in pending questions of constitutionality, practical exercises and judicial acts.
Teaching Resources
Students shall choose one of the following books:
E. Malfatti - S. Panizza - R. Romboli, Giustizia costituzionale, Torino, Giappichelli, last ed. available;
G. Zagrebelsky - V. Marcenò, Giustizia costituzionale, Bologna, Il Mulino, last ed. available.
V. Onida - M. D'Amico, Il giudizio di costituzionalità delle leggi. Materiali di giustizia costituzionale. I. Il giudizio in via incidentale, Torino, Giappichelli, 1998 (On the Ariel platform the related materials will be published).
Study and Additional Teaching Material:
The decisions of the Constitutional Court are available on: or
For an overview of the most recent trends in the constitutional jurisprudence, reports can be readily read in the annual press conferences of the President of the Court, available on, Documentation section.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attending students will be evaluated accordingly to the exercises assigned during the course.
Practical exercises will consist of:
- the analysis of a pending question of constitutionality, by looking at the description of the case which gave rise to the question itself; the legitimacy of the referring court; the requirements of the "rilevanza", the "non manifesta infondatezza", the "interpretazione costituzionalmente conforme" (interpretation in the light of the Constitution); the exact identification of the thema decidendum;
- the draft of an judicial act of constitution on behalf of the party or an act of intervention by a third party or by an amicus curiae;
- the drafting of an hypothetical decision of the Constitutional Court on the assigned question of constitutional legitimacy.
The final grade will be given considering attendance, the act, individual exercises and the final colloquium, accordingly to the following percentages:
5% attendance;
25% oral exam;
30% act;
40% exercises.
For non-attending students, the exam will consist of an oral exam.
Erasmus students: no specific program.
IUS/08 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours