91378 - European Legal History

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Nicoletta Sarti (Modulo 1) Damigela Hoxha (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Legal Studies (cod. 9062)

    Also valid for Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Legal Studies (cod. 9062)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit, students: - possess an in-depth knowledge about the legislative sources and courts’ common techniques and are capable to understand current legal arrangements; - can assess the evolution of the legal arrangements studied during the course unit, also from a comparative perspective involving different European legal orders; - understand the meaning of the rules and are capable to capture their essence, also in the light of the political, economic and social context.

Course contents

The teaching of European Legal History is divided into two modules of 30 hours each. In the first, held by Professor Nicoletta Sarti, the following topics will be covered:

1. National Codifications: Triumph and Crisis

2. Early Middle Ages: An age without Jurists

3. Ius commune in Europe

4. Ius proprium in Europe

The second module will be held by Dr. Damigela Hoxha and will focus on the following topics:


5. The origin of the university and the phenomenon of common law

6. Legal Science: Forms of Exposition and Techniques of Diffusion

7. The System of Ius commune and its 'universal' and subsidiary force

8. In Time and Space


[a. National Legal systems heirs to the tradition of Ius commune: exception of England and Ireland; b. The Common Law is different: Ten illustrations; c. The mastery of the law: Judges, legislators and professors; d. The divergent paths of Common Law and Civil law: which diverged from which? e. Case Law: the courts and their sentences; f. Statute law: is codification a weapon against the judiciary? g. Book law: the role of the law professors; h. Eight criteria of good law]


The preparation, in view of the final test, must be conducted on the following volume available on Amazon:


1. Manlio Bellomo, The common legal past of Europe (1000-1800), The Catholic University of America Press, 1995

Teaching methods

The first semester courses will be delivered in one of the ways described at the following Internet address (https://dsg.unibo.it/en/teaching/projects-and-teaching-methodologies/teaching-modes-at-dsg-on-i-semester-a-y-2020-2021)

Assessment methods

The profit exam will consist in the drafting of a short paper (max three pages) whose subject will be assigned by the teachers . The test will focus on the topics indicated in the "Program and contents" section and the student must demonstrate, during the discussion of the paper that will follow, to acquire knowledge of using critically historical skills, also into approach at issues of positive law and for the understanding of current assets of political Italian and European institutions. 

The final test will take place in the presence or, if critical issues related to the current health condition persist, on the Microsoft Teams platform. 

The evaluation of the test will be carried out taking into consideration:

the knowledge of the course contents
the ability to make connections between the different parts of the program
the ability to develop critical arguments
the articulation and accuracy of the exposure
Registration for the final exam must be done using the Almaesami application (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm).


The thesis

The thesis, intended for a detailed study of institutes, people and precise moments from juridical modern and contemporary history, will be assigned to those students who show a clear interest in the historical-juridical educational path.

Requests from those students who decline to dedicate the necessary time to make thesis elaboration a constructive experience will not be accepted.


Teaching tools

In order to have a better preparation it is possible - indeed recommended - to download the teaching material that will be made available on the website of the course owner. Any seminars will be promptly reported in the lessons.

The lessons will be kept using notes and projected material, all made available to the students (http://campus.cib.unibo.it [http://campus.cib.unibo.it/] )

Students who for reasons of disability or specific learning disabilities (DSA) need compensatory tools will be able to communicate to the professor their needs so as to be directed to the referents and agree on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Nicoletta Sarti

See the website of Damigela Hoxha