Public Comparative Law (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Francesco Palermo
Francesco Palermo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2021 dal Feb 15, 2021 al Mar 29, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course provides the skills for a critical understanding of public and constitutional law by looking at legal phenomena though comparison of rules (‘law in the books’) and practical functioning (‘law in action’) of institutional systems. Comparison helps in particular to understand where rules come from, their meaning, their recurrence, their interrelations and how they operate. Through the comparative method, the course looks at the main elements of constitutional law, including the structure and functioning of constitutional systems, the systems of government and judicial review of legislation.
The course teaches how to identify and to analyse legal problems, how to solve them, how to grasp the essence of the rules through critical thinking and how to develop a legal argument, especially in public law. These skills are required in further legal education and in every legal profession.


The approach and the syllabus are different for students attending classes and those not attending. Students attending classes (ie those attending at least 2/3 of the classes) are supposed to learn primarily by actively following classes as well as the supporting lessons offered in addition to regular teaching. They will study primarily on the notes taken in the classroom and on the learning material provided by the teacher.
Students not attending classes will study on the textbooks:
L. Pegoraro, A. Rinella, Sistemi costituzionali comparati, Giappichelli 2017

All students are invited to carefully read the texts of the constitutions. These can be found in English at: Most constitutional texts are available in Italian in: G. Cerrina Feroni, T.E. Frosini, A. Torre, Codice delle Costituzioni, vol. I, Giappichelli, Torino 2015

Teaching will be problem-oriented: what are the problems, why do they emerge, what legal tools have been developed to solve them and how are these tools applied in practice? This approach aims at training students to identify the key questions and to elaborate their critical analysis of the available solutions.
Teaching is predominantly based on lectures (supported with slides). Trainings, role games and a final evaluation are also provided.
Students not attending classes are invited to prepare the exam on the textbook rather than on notes and reading material provided in class, as the methodology is substantially different.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
L. Pegoraro, A. Rinella Sistemi costituzionali comparati Giappichelli 2017

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination tests the following:
a) the knowledge acquired during the course and the student's ability to use such knowledge to correctly frame and to solve legal issues;
b) the ability to develop a legal argument, including with appropriate legal language and terminology;
c) the capacity to connect and systematically apply the knowledge;
d) analytical and argumentative skills
The mere repetition of the textbook is not enough to pass the exam. Rather, critical thinking and analysis are encouraged.
ERASMUS students are invited to contact professor Palermo ( at the beginning of the course in order to discuss teaching methods and assessment tests.