Comparative constitutional law (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Matteo Nicolini
Matteo Nicolini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
1° periodo di lezioni dal Sep 28, 2020 al Dec 14, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing students with an advanced knowledge of topics and methods of constitutional comparative law and an adequate knowledge of the institutions (sources of law, constitutional litigation, federalism and regionalism) into which the course has delved. At the end of the course, students shall be able to reflect in terms of legal institutions in comparative perspective, classify legal institutions according to comparative legal taxonomies and apply the comparative legal method. Students shall also have acquired the capacity to consciously use specific terms relating to comparative law themes and speak precisely about the constitutional law in comparative legal perspective.


1. Comparative method and constitutional law: classifications and models of constitutional adjudication.
2. Political v. judicial review. The French constitutional experience. Constitutional adjudication under Soviet and Islamic constitutions.
3. The origins of the judicial review: from the English antecedents to the U.S. constitutional history.
4. Concentrated v Diffuse judicial review. Judicial review in common law legal systems.
The dissemination of the U.S. model outside the common law realm: Latino-American countries and Portugal. UK and Switzerland.
5. The Kelsenian model and its circulation in Europe. Concrete and Abstract review. Retroactive and Prospective effects of constitutional courts’ decisions.
6. UK constitutional litigation?
7. Judicial Review on federal grounds.

Students attending the lectures shall study:
1) Lecture Notes;
2) Jo E. Khushal Murkens, “Judicious review: The constitutional practice of the UK Supreme Court,” Cambridge Law Journal, 2018, 1–26;
3) Paul Craig, Constitutional and Non-Constitutional Review, Current Legal Problems, Volume 54, Issue 1, 1 January 2001, Pages 147–1783)
4) Charles Manga Fombad, Constitutional Adjudication in Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017): Ch 1 ;

Students not attending the lectures shall study:
Lucio Pegoraro, Sistemi di giustizia costituzionale, Giappichelli, 2019.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Charles Manga Fombad Constitutional Adjudication in Africa Oxford University Press 2017
Lucio Pegoraro Sistemi di giustizia costituzionale Giappichelli 2019

Assessment methods and criteria

Those attending the course will actively participate in it: during the lectures, the class will discuss and debate the different models for addressing judicial review and examine the most relevant judgements that have contributed in developing the role of supreme and constitutional courts in the protection of the constitutional frameworks (and their principles).