69926 - Comparative Constitutionalism

Course Unit Page

SDGs

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

No poverty Gender equality Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

This course's aims are: A) to make students familiar with the basic aspects of contemporary constitutionalism in Western democracies, countries in transition to democracy and beyond, B) to show them that comparative constitutional law gives us a better purchase on our own legal systems and legal cultures; C) to push them to evaluate the foundations of individual legal system; D) to provide them with a critical understanding of the strengths and limits of constitutional law in regulating social and political processes. The course will tackle three main subjects: 1) The definition of constitutionalism, written and unwritten constitutions, models of constitutional adjudication and different approaches to interpretation; 2) The ways in which limitations on governmental powers have been pursued in different constitutional systems; 3) A comparative framework for discussion of fondamental rights such as free expression, privacy, dignity, autonomy, equality and liberty.

Course contents

Module I:

Why comparative constitutional law?

Defining and Elaborating the Constitution”, which treats fundamental subjects such as the definition of constitutionalism, written and unwritten constitutions.

The Vertical Division of Governmental Powers, which explores the ways in which limitations on governmental powers have been pursued in different constitutional systems (federalism and regionalism)

Citizenship and Fundamental Rights, which provides a comparative framework for discussion of dignity, privacy, free expression, equality, liberty and freedom of religion, as well as minority rights.

Module II:

The Horizontal Division of Governmental Powers, which explores the ways in which limitations on governmental powers have been pursued in different constitutional systems (presidential v parliamentary democracy)

The Judicial Enforcement of the Constitution, The Horizontal Separation of powers

Constitutionalism and democratization in Africa and in the Arab countries.

Course contents do not vary for Erasmus/Exchange students

Readings/Bibliography

Materials are available online

Teaching methods


Students are expected to have read the assigned materials before each class as I will cold call. Class time will be divided between lectures and discussion. Each topic will be introduced by the instructor.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods do not vary for Erasmus/Exchange students

It is a requirement that students attend at least 70% of class meetings during the semester. A student who does not meet this requirement will have to take an oral exam covering all materials in the syllabus in addition to completing the course papers.

•All students must submit TWO PAPERS of 3000 words EACH (10% below or above that figure). One paper will be about Prof. Mancini’s module, and one paper will be about Prof. Biagi’s module. Students will have to choose among SIX given tracks (3 tracks for Prof. Mancini’s module, and 3 tracks for Prof. Biagi’s module).

The final grade will be determined in the light of the papers (90%) and of participation in class and discussion (10%). Please note that ALL papers are checked for plagiarism and all plagiarism cases will be reported to the Dean. The deadline to deliver both papers is DECEMBER 10th. In case of late submissions, grades will be lowered by 2 points every 24 hours. To have the grade registered, students must then enroll for the "appello" of January or February. If a student does not enroll, the grade will not be registered.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FAIL OR IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY WITH YOUR GRADE?

NO STUDENT WILL BE ABLE TO SUBMIT A NEW PAPER OR A REVISED VERSION OF THE PREVIOUS PAPER. Students may by sign up for an oral exam (NOT BEFORE January of February) on a day on which it is officially scheduled by the Law School. Please note that no student will be able to schedule an exam or have a paper graded after their departure from Bologna.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE ATTAINED 70% CLASS ATTENDANCE BUT DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR PAPERS?

YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR PAPERS ONE WEEK BEFORE THE JANUARY OR FEBRUARY EXAMS BUT MUST ALSO TAKE AN ORAL EXAM ON ALL OF THE UPLOADED MATERIALS

IMPORTANT

Papers should not consist in a mere juxtaposition of cases and/or legislation, and should be analytical. You are welcome to provide your personal opinion on your topic, as long as it relies on a robust analysis and on a solid bibliography. Papers should not simply list different countries' legal frames (e.g. Euthanasia in Italy, France, the UK and Belgium, with a description of the different laws regulating euthanasia in each country), and should rather engage in a fruitful comparison (comparing the rationale of different laws and different judicial approaches).

You should rely mainly on books, law journal articles and cases (NEVER on Wikipedia). In order to conduct your research, you should go to the Law School library and in case you have difficulties, please schedule an appointment with a librarian who can teach you how to access databases. The long paper is expected to have a bibliography consisting as a minimum of 15 entries, the short paper of 10 entries.

Papers should be written in English (spelling must be consistent and can be American or British). Papers should be written in a clear, correct, idiomatic and comprehensible manner.

Papers should include a bibliography at the end, listing all cited works and cases, and should include footnotes (not endnotes). Papers with no footnotes and/or no bibliography will be given a failing grade. Below you see how to quote your entries according to the Chicago Manual of Style. You should strictly follow these rules, unless you prefer to quote according to a different style (e.g. Oxford), which is fine as long as it is consistent. Grades will be determined also in the light of how accurately entries are quoted.

How to quote different entries:

IN THE FOOTNOTES :

BOOKS:

(up to two authors): Liam P. Unwin and Joseph Galloway, Peace in Ireland(Boston: Stronghope Press, 1990), 193.

(more than 3 authors): Charlotte Marcus et al., Investigation into the Phenomenon of Limited-Field Criticism (Boston: Broadview Press, 1990), 163-165.

(edited books): Anthony B. Tortelli, ed., Sociology Approaching the Twenty- first Century (Los Angles: Peter and Sons, 1991).

JOURNAL ARTICLES:

Cartright C. Bellworthy, “Reform of Congressional Remuneration,” Political Review 7 , no. 6 (1990): 93-94.

IN THE BIBLIOGRAPHY:

BOOKS:

(up to two authors): Unwin, Liam P., and Joseph Galloway. Peace in Ireland . Boston: Stronghope Press, 1990.

(more than 3 authors): Marcus, Charlotte, Jerome Waterman, Thomas Gomez, and Elizabeth DeLor. Investigations into the Phenomenon of Limited-Field Criticism . Boston: Broadview Press, 1990

(edited books): Tortelli, Anthony B., ed. Sociology Approaching the Twenty-fi rst Century . Los Angeles: Peter and Sons, 1991.

JOURNAL ARTICLES:

Bellworthy, Cartright C. “Reform of Congressional Remuneration.” Political Review 7 , no. 6 (1990): 87-101.

For further clarification please visit the Chicago Manual of Style online at<http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html>

 

Teaching tools

Materials will be available on the online platform

Office hours

See the website of Susanna Mancini

See the website of Francesco Biagi