Sociology of law

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course is aimed at providing students with the conceptual and methodological tools of sociology of law, that is, the science that investigates legal phenomena with the methods of empirical sciences; the ultimate goal being the acquisition of adequate skills to the analysis of legal phenomena from a non-dogmatic perspective.
Within this framework, much time will be dedicated to the analysis of some fundamental concepts, such as the concepts of social action and social interaction, as well as the concepts of norm, law, right (including fundamental rights), social and legal change.
Expected learning outcomes
- the knowledge of the fundamental concepts and the research methods of sociology of law;
- the ability to apply the skills acquired during this course to the analysis of legal phenomena;
- the ability to critically and autonomously interpret legal phenomena in a legal-sociological way (rather than in legal-dogmatic way);
- the ability to use the acquired knowledge with argumentative consistency and an adequate command of the legal-sociological technical terminology;
- the ability to undertake—in the most possible autonomous way—in-depth studies concerning law as social phenomenon by making use of a method that should combine theoretical reflection and critical observation.
Course syllabus and organization

Surname A-L

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course is divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to analyzing fundamental concepts and topics to frame the sociological approach to studying the legal phenomenon. The second part deals with human rights and, in particular, deepens the relationship between legal subjectivity, equality and discrimination in contemporary societies.

Law as a social phenomenon
Sociology of law between theory and research
The sociological concept of legal norm
Legal action and his effects: impact and effectiveness, compliance and deviance
Institutions between law and society
Law and opinions
Law, globalization and legal pluralism
Sociology of human rights
The abstract subject of law, the 'situated' subject of law
Rights 'in book' and 'living rights'
Concrete questions' analysis
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is required.
Preparatory Courses: Private Law, Constitutional Law.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons, class discussion, seminars. PowerPoint slides will be uploaded on the Ariel platform.
Teaching Resources
Attending Students:
- V. Ferrari, Diritto e società. Elementi di sociologia del diritto, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2012 (o ed. successive) (escluso cap. V)
- Students' notes, slides and other sources suggested during the course.

Non-attending students:
- V. Ferrari, Diritto e società. Elementi di sociologia del diritto, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2012 (o ed. successive)
- M.R. Ferrarese "La globalizzazione del diritto: dalla 'teologia politica' al 'diritto utile'", in Il tramonto della modernità giuridica. Un percorso interdisciplinare, edited by M. Vogliotti, Giappichelli, Torino 2008 (this essay is available on the Ariel platform).
- L. Mancini, La diversità culturale tra diritto e società, Franco Angeli, Milano 2018.

Erasmus students: Specific material may be provided if required.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attending students: The exam will cover the content of the lessons and the suggested texts and consists of an oral exam.
The requirement to be considered as attending students is taking part in at least 70% of class meetings. Student performance will be assessed through a final oral exam (maximum score: 30\30 cum laude).
Non-attending students: The exam will cover the content of the suggested texts. Student performance will be assessed through a final oral exam. (maximum score: 30\30 cum laude).
The evaluation criteria will consider the knowledge of the fundamental issues of the sociology of law, the skills of critical analysis and the clarity of exposition.
IUS/20 - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Mancini Letizia

Surname M-Z

Lesson period
Second semester
TEACHING METHODS. Classes will be live-streamed on Microsoft Teams, following the lessons timetable. Live-streamed classes will be recorded and will be available to students on the same platform.
Relevant information about how to join the classes on Microsoft Teams and other instructions will be available on the Ariel website of the course. Please browse it regularly.
Course syllabus and Teaching Resources (reference material). The course syllabus and reference material are unchanged. LEARNING ASSESSMENT METHODS. There will be no changes to the methods for assessing learning and the assessment criteria. EXAMINATION. The examination will take place orally on Microsoft Teams. Should the health situation allow it, subject to the availability of classrooms and the necessary safety conditions, the examination will take place in the classroom. However, students who are unable to travel from their place of residence and/or domicile will be able to take the examination remotely. Further information and updates will be made available on the course ARIEL website. It is therefore recommended that students check the Ariel website regularly.
Course syllabus
Sociology of law is the empirical scienze of law. Most courses taught at Italian Law Schools are of a dogmatic nature (they also called "positive legal sciences"). This means that they aim at describing the law in force based on undisputed axioms like the being in force of the Italian consitution or the Italian civil code (which was passed prior to the Italian constitution). Instead, sociology of law does away with these axioms. It does not aim at deriving this or that statement from this or that axiom. Rather, it aims at formulating statements that should correspond to reality, just as any other empirical science. The course will be in three parts. In part 1 the main criteria for the assessment of the scientific legitimation of an empirical conceptualization will be presented. In part 2 the main empirical conceptualizations offered by legal sociologists will be discussed and criticized for their lack of scientific legitimacy. In part 3 a conceptualization based on cognitive and emotional phenomena (sense of entitlement) will be presented and based of that conceptualizations of law, valildity, being-in-force, ownership, state, different types of normative source will be offered.

Analytic program

1. Sociology of law vs. legal dogmatics
2. Sociologies on social objects vs. sociologies vs non-social objects
3. Criteria for the scientific conceptualizations and causality
4. Normative emotions and normative expectations
5. Legal emotions, legal expectationsn and their conflict-generating nature
6. Legal relationships
7. Ownership and authority as compound legal relationships
8. Phenomena counteracting the conflict-generating nature of legal phenomena: positivization, formalization and adjudication
9. Phenomena produced by the compatibilization of legal expectations: market economies
10. Phenomena produced by the compatibilization of legal expectations: states
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Classroom-Taught Lectures
Teaching Resources
Attending students: The assignments.

Non-attending students:
(1). Mandatory for all non-attending students:
Edoardo Fittipaldi, Sociologia del diritto: la scienza empirica del diritto. Pisa: ETS (forthcoming). Until this book is published the non-attending students shall study Edoardo Fittipaldi, Psicologia giuridica e realismo: Leon Petrażycki. Milano: LED (pp. 9-148: 140 pages).
Further, and whether or not "Sociologia del diritto: la scienza empirica del diritto" has been published, based on their preferences, the non-attending students shall choose and study between:
(2.1). Vincenzo Ferrari, Prima lezione di sociologia del diritto. Roma-Bari: Laterza (pp. 1-177, 178 pagine; the introduction may not be studied).
(2.2). Morris L. Ghezzi, Il diritto come estetica. Milano: Mimesis (pp. 13-111, 99 pagine)
Edoardo Fittipaldi, Convergenze. Disponibile su ARIEL (4 pagine)
Simonetta Balboni Ghezzi, Due pensatori a confronto. Available on ARIEL (7 pagine) (This text is part of program 2.2. only)
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam
IUS/20 - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Fittipaldi Edoardo
In the first semester, the reception will take place in person or on MTeams ( syd99y3) on Tuesdays at 10, by appointment via email:
Dipartimento 'Cesare Beccaria', MTeams