Public Comparative Law (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Matteo Nicolini, Francesco Palermo
Matteo Nicolini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2018, 2° periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2018

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course proposes a critical survey of the different constitutional designs of the world. It considers the foundations of the “modern” and “contemporary” constitutional law and the legacies of Western constitutionalism. For this purpose, the course will use the comparative legal method, which is useful in cross-national analyses. In this regard, it intends to focus the legal systems of the world first, thus shedding lights on the interrelations between sources of law, different conceptions of law, on the on hand, and constitutionalism, cross-fertilisation, as well as dissemination of constitutional ideas, on the other hand. Therefore, the course will start with the definition of the basic concepts of constitutional legal studies (constitution, state, sources of law, territory, sovereignty), which governs the constitutional narratives throughout the constitutional legal systems of the world. Thus, it examines to what extent the comparative method helps in highlights the flas between the black-letter constitutions and the respective operational rules.


Comparative method and constitutional legal studies. Comparative method and constitutional law: the interrelations between formants and constitutional narratives.
Overriding the public-private divide in classifying the legal systems of the world. Common Law and Civil Law; African Law; Mixed Jurisdictions; Islamic Law; Hindu Law; Hebrew Law; Far Eastern legal systems; The soviet and post- soviet law.
Constitutions and constitutional transitions. Sources of law in a comparative perspective. Amending the constitutions. Federal and regional constitutional designs. Frame of Government. Constitutional Litigation.

Bibliographic references

Students that will attend the course:
a) lecture notes;
b) M. Nicolini, L'altra common law of the land. La famiglia giuridica mista dell'Africa australe, BUP, Bologna, 2016;
c) S. Cassese (cur.), La nuova costituzione economica, Laterza, Roma-Bari, ult. ed. (chapters I, II, III, V, VII, VIII, IX)

Students that will not attend the course:
G. Pegoraro, A. Rinella, Sistemi costituzionali comparati, Giappichelli, Torino, 2017 (chapters. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, X).

Erasmus students may also choose the following program:
1) J. Husa, A New Introduction to Comparative Law, Bloomsbury, London, 2015;
2) M. Tushnet, Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2014.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
D. Butturini, M. Nicolini Giurisdizione costituzionale e potere democraticamente legittimato, Vol. II, Dialoghi ‘esemplari’: le esperienze straniere bolonia University Press 2017 studenti frequentanti, in alternativa.
D. Butturini, M. Nicolini Giurisdizione costituzionale e potere democraticamente legittimato, Vol. I, I soggetti, gli strumenti e i meccanismi del dialogo Bolonia University Press 2017 studenti frequentanti, in alternativa.
Matteo Nicolini L'altra Law of the Land. La famiglia giuridica "mista" dell'Africa australe (Edizione 1) Bolonia University Press 2016 studenti frequentanti
L. Pegoraro, A. Rinella Sistemi costituzionali comparati Giappichelli 2017 studenti non frequentanti

Assessment methods and criteria

Students not attending the course: oral examination
Students attending the course: written test.

ERASMUS students are invited to to contact professor Nicolini ( at the beginning of the course in order to set teaching methods and assessment tests.

Teaching aids