92238 - Legal Informatics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Monica Palmirani (Modulo 1) Salvatore Sapienza (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

At the end of the course students will have learned the basic principles of computer science and how they apply to the law. Students will gain a grasp of the way information technology is used in the economy, in government, and in society, especially when dealing with the law. They will be able to critically analyse the social and legal implications of the use of such technologies. They will also learn the law applying to information technology and will be able to analyse information and technological systems in light of the evolving national, European, and international legal framework. They will understand the use of concepts in computer science and will be enabled to gain new skills in that area as technology and the law develop, and they will learn to bring information technology to bear on the legal profession.

Course contents

The course is divided into two parts: legal informatics and IT law

Legal Informatics - module prof. Monica Palmirani

  • introduction to legal informatics: concept, evolution of the discipline, applications, prospects;

  • informational and IT system: the knowledge society model and its application to legal information systems;

  • computers and information processing: hardware, from algorithms to software, software lifecycle;

  • structuring and archiving of data and texts: archives, databases, and document management (HTML, XML);

  • distributed knowledge society: telematics, computer networks, the Internet, the Web, the semantic Web, Web 2.0, peer-to-peer and cloud computing;

  • dematerialization society: domain names, cryptography, digital signatures;

  • artificial intelligence and law: artificial intelligence, rule-based, big data and legal reasoning systems;

  • blockchain and smart contract.

    IT Law

  • protection of IT goods under trademark and copyright law: software, databases, multimedia works , domain names;

  • e-commerce and online contracts: online contracts; e-commerce, consumer protection

  • new legal regimes for digital content: open source and creative commons;

  • personal data protection: privacy and personality rights; freedom and information; data security;

  • IT documents and electronic signatures: cryptography, legal force, probatory value;

  • legal issues related to artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, smart contract.

The programme is the same for all the students (attendees or not attendees), including also the ERASMUS students.

The student that needs integration of credits has to contact the professor via email for defining modality of the exam and the appropriate material according to the number of credits.


The course is based on the following two texts:

  • G. Sartor, Corso di Informatica Giuridica. L'informatica giuridica e le tecnologie dell'informazione,Giappichelli, Torino, 2022 ISBN 9788892124363.
  • AA.VV., Temi di diritto dell'informatica, a cura di Claudio di Cocco e Giovanni Sartor, Giappichelli, 2020(Nuova edizione), ISBN 978-88-9213320-4.

The coursepack and material provided on the course webpage VIRTUALE are only meant to provide guidance for students investigating the course contents on their own (see the section "Teaching tools").

For those who attend the course, we focus on topics emerging by the emerging case-law.

Teaching methods

Frontal Lectures

The course includes frontal and online lectures following one of the modality described in this Web page:https://corsi.unibo.it/magistralecu/Giurisprudenza-Bologna/calendario-didattico

During the lectures the teacher uses slides, that are an outline of the main topics, including videos, practical sections. During the course the teacher may propose additional seminars about new emerging topics that are strongly connected with the discipline.

Attendance Rule

The attendance is not mandatory, but strongly reccomended for coping with the goals and the objectives of the course. Attending the lectures the student may acquire rapidaly the technical terminology, the fundationals, the basis, and so to make progresses in the autonomous study methodology.

The students that not are able to attend the course should in any case download all the material, including slides, that the teacher provides during the lectures (see the section "Teaching tools"),and in any case please contact the teachers for any problem that you may have.

The professor could check periodically the attendance.


During the lectures the professor could propose to the students self-evaluation test based on the past exams with the aim to support the correct methodology of study. The self-evaluation tests have been performed individually at home and they have not been evaluated.

Interactive lectures

The face-to-face lectures have been designed for supporting interaction between professor and students and for facilitating a pro-active participation.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of two integrated parts, both mandatory, to be carried out during the same session of exam:

1) WRITTEN EXAM: it is a test with multiple choice and open ONLINE quizzes. There are 12 questions:

  • 10 in the form of a quiz and the score is +2 if the answer is correct and 0 if wrong or absent;
  • 2 in the form of an open question and the score is +5 if the answer is correct and 0 if wrong or absent.

The time available is 45 minutes.

The use of support material such as textbooks, notes, IT supports is not permitted during the test. The exam is considered passed with a minimum score of 15/30.

The results of the written test has been published in VIRTUAL website within a maximum of 3 days from the date of the written exam.

2) ORAL EXAM: students who have obtained a mark of at least 15/30 in the written exam can access the oral exam which takes place after the written exam, usually in the same session (generally within 4 days after the written exam).

The test consists of an interview on the program carried out, it lasts about 15 minutes; it contributes to the final result for a maximum of six points, but it can also degrade the score.

The grade of the written exam will be valid for the entire exam session.

The verbalisations takes place at the same time as the oral exam.

3) Final assessment: the final grade is obtained by adding the outcome of the written exam (1) to the outcome of the oral exam (2).

The use of books or notes is not permitted and the material for carrying out the test are provided by the teacher.

Merely by way of simplification, the attribution of the final mark is inspired by the following criteria
· Preparation on a very limited number of topics covered in the course and analytical skills that emerge only with the help of the teacher, expression in overall correct language → 18-19;
· Knowledge of a limited number of topics covered in the course and autonomous analysis skills only on purely executive issues, expression in correct language → 20-24;
Knowledge of a large number of topics addressed in the course, ability to make independent choices of critical analysis, mastery of specific terminology → 25-29;
· Substantially exhaustive preparation on the topics covered in the course, ability to make independent choices of critical analysis and connections, full command of the specific terminology and ability to argue and self-reflect → 30-30L.

Foreign students and ERASMUS students, those with linguistic difficulties or disabilities, can still ask to sit the exam in the oral form only, lasting at least 40 minutes.

Enrollment in the exam lists will take place via the Almaesami university computer system for both the written and oral exams.

The professor is always available during office hours to show the corrections made in the written test.

Teaching tools

In the resources section of this website—which can also be reached at <https://virtuale.unibo.it/course/ [https://iol.unibo.it/course/] >—students will find materials useful to further investigate the issues and topics treated in the course. However, these materials do not replace the mandatory readings, on which basis alone the assessment of student learning will be based.

Students are not required to attend classes but are highly recommended to do so, for this will make it easier to quickly learn the concepts and basic principles needed for an independent and critical investigation of the subject matter.

Non-attending students in particular are advised to organize self-study by referring to the sequence of topics as set in the online space.

Students registered in the online space will receive notices and communications using these tools.


We offer thesis on the main emerging topics of the discipline. For a recent list of topics you can visit the section "Dissertations [https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/monica.palmirani/teachings?tab=tesi] " in the professor's web page.

For requesting a thesis in Legal Informatics you must send an email with the following information: name, surname, degree name, year of enrolment, average of exams, number of exams missing, proposal of title and topic.


To communicate with the professor, use the email monica.palmirani@unibo.it, michela.rossi@unibo.it and salvatore.sapienza@unibo.it indicating the following data:

  • the subject according to the request: [EXAM] to get information about the exam; [URGENT] only for actual institutional emergencies (e.g., Erasmus, visas, scholarships); [REPORTING] for requests regarding the reporting;
  • name, surname, matriculation number, degree course, course, signature;
  • please use the institutional email studio.unibo.it

Office hours

See the website of Monica Palmirani

See the website of Salvatore Sapienza