06996 - Constitutional Justice

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Chiara Bologna (Modulo 1) Diletta Tega (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Law (cod. 9233)

Learning outcomes

The course focuses on the study of constitutional adjudication, namely the set of rules and practices meant to guarantee the constitution. At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to analyse, understand, and critically engage with the functioning and reasoning of the constitutional court.

The course pursues a two-fold objective:
i) understanding the system of constitutional adjudication, and in particular the structure and competences of the Constitutional court;

ii) understanding the mechanisms governing judicial decision-making, through the analysis and the solution of pending cases. At the end of the course, students will be able to identify and discuss the admissibility of the case; to critically analyse its outcome; to collect and analyse the legislative and doctrinal elements necessary to the solution of the case.

In accordance with the degree program’s formative objectives, this Course will allow students develop their legal skills, giving them the necessary tools to evaluate and comprehend the functioning of national institutions, taking into consideration their historical evolution. Students will also grasp a better understanding of the legal order, further developing the capability to assess constitutional issues.

Course contents

The course focuses on the Italian constitutional court’s functions. It is structured into a theoretical and a practical part:

i) the theoretical part of the course focusses on the foundational concepts and models of constitutional adjudication. It covers the genesis, composition, and competences of the constitutional court.

ii) the practical part of the course consists of the preparation and solution of cases which are currently pending before the constitutional court. This part of the course is highly interactive. Students will be divided into groups and asked to discuss and solve the case based on the research they have undertaken independently with the guidance of the course instructor.


The exam is based on the following text book:

E. Malfatti, S. Panizza, R. Romboli, Giustizia costituzionale, Torino, Giappichelli, latest version.

For students who have attended at least 70% of the course, the assessment will be based on a selection of chapters, which will be communicated during the course.

In addition, it is essential for students to get access to the Constitutional courts’ decisions which will be discussed during the course. They are publicly available at the following webpages, together with the legislation relevant to each decision:

1. www.cortecostituzionale.it

2. www.giurcost.it

Other useful sources include:

- a collection of the relevant legislation, e.g.:

F. Clementi, L. Cuocolo, F. Rosa e G. E. Vigevani (a cura di), La Costituzione italiana, Commento articolo per articolo, Bologna, il Mulino, 2017; L. Califano (a cura di), La Costituzione della repubblica italiana, Rimini, Maggioli, 2010 o edizione più recente; L. Mezzetti, M. Belletti (a cura di), Codice costituzionale, Torino, Giappichelli, 2010 o edizione più recente; A. Celotto (a cura di), Costituzione annotata della Repubblica italiana, Bologna, Zanichelli, 2010 o edizione più recente; M. Bassani, V. Italia, G. Bottino, M. Della Torre, A. Zucchetti (a cura di), Leggi fondamentali del diritto pubblico e costituzionale, Milano, Giuffré, 2010 o edizione più recente; P. Costanzo (a cura di), Testi normativi per lo studio del diritto costituzionale italiano ed europeo, Torino, Giappichelli, 2010 o edizione più recente.

- the Constitutional assembly’s preparatory work, available at: http://legislature.camera.it/altre_sezionism/304/8964/documentotesto.asp.

Teaching methods

Classes will take place during the second semester, according to the schedule that will be published subsequently.

Teaching methods include group work and in-class discussions concerning pending cases.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods are two-fold.

First, assessment is based on participation in class, in particular in the context of the discussions on the pending cases.

Secondly, assessment takes place through the final exam, consisting of a general oral exam on the Course contents.

The final grade will reflect both components.

  • Grade range criteria:

    • 18-19: the student needs the professor’s support to prepare, develop and analyze the topics that are necessary for the written assessment. The student’s use of language is overall correct;
    • 20-24: the student can prepare, develop, and analyze issues autonomously, but only on a descriptive level. The student’s use of language is correct;
    • 25-29: the student can prepare, develop, and analyze the written assessment’s topics, as well as the ones examined throughout the Course. The student also shows an independent ability to critically assess and evaluate issues, and shows an appropriate use of specific terminology;
    • 30-30L: the student can prepare, develop, and analyze the written assessment’s topics, as well as the ones examined throughout the Course. The student also shows an independent ability to critically assess, evaluate, and connect issues. He/she fully masters specific terminology, has good reasoning skills, and is able to support an autonomous scientific position that is founded upon the themes examined in class.

If requested, further assesment methods will be put in place for students with different abilities, who will be accommodated as much as possible.

Teaching tools

Case law

For full consultation of the Constitutional Court's decisions, we recommend the Court's official site (www.cortecostituzionale.it ) and the Consulta on-line site (www.giurcost.it ), which contain all the judgments from 1956 to the present day, with attached search engines.

Collections of legal texts

For full consultation of current national law, we recommend the Normattiva search engine (www.normattiva.it ). For better preparation for the exam, however, it may be useful to consult an up-to-date collection of public law.
Students may in any case address questions of clarification to the lecturer during elections or during office hours. The Professor can also be contacted by e-mail at chiara.bologna@unibo.it.

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Bologna

See the website of Diletta Tega