00534 - Principles of Public Law

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Moduli: Michele Belletti (Modulo 1) Giovanna Marchianò (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Social Work (cod. 8040)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the fundamental principles and characteristics of the current constitutional system; has knowledge of the organization of the State, of the constitutional bodies and of those having constitutional significance, of the freedoms of individuals; will be able to analyze the main aspects studied with a view to recent constitutional reforms; knows the regulatory framework relating to the reference categories for social intervention; will be able to understand and use specific vocabulary and terminology.

Course contents

The course is divided into two didactic modules. The first module is held by Prof. Giovanna Marchianò.

The program will be divided into 30 hours, addressing the following topics:

1-. The fundamental characteristics of the juridical phenomenon. The concept of legal order and the plurality of legal systems. Legal systems of common law and civil law. Forms of state and forms of government. Form of government: parliamentary government, presidential government, semi-presidential government. Constitution: constitutional principles and fundamental freedoms.

2-. Art. 11 of the Constitution and the creation of the European Union: brief notes on the historical path of the European Union.

3-. The supremacy of the European Union rules over national rules and the role of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice. The repercussions on the hierarchy of sources with respect to European regulations and constitutional changes being adopted

4-. Contents of the status of citizen of the European Union and the principle of non-discrimination (Article 20 TFEU). The Charter of Fundamental Rights

5-. The problem of European citizenship: from national citizens to global citizens

6-. The right of free movement and residence within the territory of the Member States. The Schengen Treaty

7-. The legal system of the European Union: organization and institutions. The functioning of the European Union

8-. The sources of the European Union. National sources: Constitution, constitutional laws

9-. Parliamentary law: procedure for the formation of parliamentary law. The Commissions. Acts having the force of law: decree law, legislative decree. Notes on regional laws

10-. Secondary sources: ministerial regulations


The second module is held by Prof. Michele Belletti.

This module will take place for the others 30 teaching hours, addressing the following topics:

1. Sources of law production; act sources and fact sources. The criteria for resolving the antinomies between the sources of law as consequences of the legal complexity in democratic-pluralist contexts

2. The constitutional bodies of the Republic: President of the Republic; role and skills

3. Government; composition, training process and skills

4. Parliament; composition, competences, parliamentary prerogatives

5. Electoral laws, referendums, political parties

6. The fundamental principles of the Italian law, with particular regard to the principles of formal and substantial equality and the principle of inviolability of fundamental rights and the fulfillment of the mandatory duties of solidarity

7. Fundamental rights, social rights and economic freedoms

8. Constitutional guarantees and the constitutional justice system

9. The Constitutional Court: composition and competences

10. Auxiliary bodies of constitutional importance: Council of State, Court of Auditors, CNEL

11. Jurisdictional guarantees, the Italian judicial system and the body of "self-government", the CSM

12. Public Administrations and notes on the functioning of territorial autonomies, Regions, Municipalities, Provinces and Metropolitan Cities


The volume for the preparation of the exam is the following Manual:

FABRIZIO POLITI, Diritto Pubblico, Giappichelli, Turin, latest edition available.

Teaching methods

The course is organized in presence for all the 60 hours. The Professor will always be present in the classroom.

The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency. In case more students want to attend classes in presence than permitted by the rules, a system of shifts will be organized so to allow students to participate in presence/online. Regardless of the health-related conditions and the specific organization of the course, students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course remotely on MS TEAMS.

The course will be divided into two parts as indicated in the presentation of the program.

Assessment methods

The lessons will take place in the second semester; therefore students enrolled in the first year of the study program will be able to take the exam starting from May 2023.
The final exam, which concludes the course, consists of an oral test where the student must demonstrate that they are able to master and know the topics covered in the two parts of the program.

Partial tests will not be carried out during the lessons.

Until new provisions by the academic bodies, the oral exam will take place remotely.

Teaching tools

In addition to the traditional tools for studying the subject, such as manuals, volumes, Constitution, constitutional laws, ordinary, state and regional laws, regional statutes, some of the most important and recent judgments will be reported during the lessons, mainly of the Constitutional Court, but also of the Council of State, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights, on the most significant points of the program and the most recent legislation. Case laws will be discussed in the classroom and will be a useful aid for students. The judgments are available on the institutional sites of the specific jurisdictional authorities.

Below are the links to the websites of the Italian constitutional bodies and the most important supranational bodies, as well as supranational organizations, whose consultation is certainly useful by the student, for the purpose of understanding how they work.

Parliament: https://www.parlamento.it/home

Government: https://www.governo.it/

President of the Republic: https://www.quirinale.it/

Constitutional Court: https://www.cortecostituzionale.it/default.do

CSM: https://www.csm.it/

Regions: http://www.regioni.it/

European Union: https://europa.eu/european-union/index_it

Court of Justice of the European Union: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/institutions-bodies/court-justice_it

Council of Europe: https://www.coe.int/it/

Office hours

See the website of Michele Belletti

See the website of Giovanna Marchianò


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.