Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course deals with topics concerning judicial systems in democratic countries and their relationship with other political institutions and public opinion. Students will analyse, in a comparative perspective, the structure of judicial dispute resolution and its consequences for relations between the judiciary, on the one hand, and, on the other, political and social systems.

Course contents

The course will be taught in presence (40 hours).

The course aims to provide students with conceptual, theoretical and methodological tools for the understanding of judicial systems and, in particular, for the study of the relationship between judicial systems and the political systems in which they operate.

The following subject will be especially dealt with:

  • The process of adjudication; the role of the judge.
  • The judicial system and its access
  • The judicial process
  • The judiciary: civil law systems and common law systems
  • Courts and politics in democratic countries
  • Justice and society: trust in judicial system in democratic countries


Mandatory readings:

  • Guarnieri, C. e P. Pederzoli (2017) Il sistema giudiziario, Bologna, Il Mulino.
  • Guarnieri, C. (2003) Giustizia e politica. I nodi della Seconda Repubblica, Bologna, Il Mulino.
  • Sapignoli, M. (2018) Corti di giustizia e opinione pubblica: la fiducia nei sistemi giudiziari europei, in C. A. d’Alessandro e C. Marchese (eds.) Ius Dicere in a Globalized World, Roma, Roma Tre-Press, pp. 205-233.
Additional readings might be indicated by the instructor during the course.

Teaching methods

Classroom lessons and student presentations

Assessment methods

Oral exam

Teaching tools

Power Point slides

Office hours

See the website of Michele Sapignoli