00236 - Comparative Public Law (M-Z)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Elena Ferioli

  • Credits 9

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Law (cod. 9232)


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

Gender equality Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

This Course's aims are:

· to make students familiar with the basic aspects of contemporary constitutionalism in Western democracies, countries in transition to democracy and beyond;

· to show them that, by revealing how other systems address similar problems, comparative constitutional law gives us a better purchase on our own legal system and legal culture;

· to push them to evaluate the foundations of individual legal systems: the assumptions, choices and values that have formed them;

· to provide them with a critical understanding of the strengths and limits of constitutional law in regulating social and political processes.


Course contents

The first part of the Course will tackle the following topics:

  • legal comparison as a scientific method;
  • defining and elaborating the Constitution (which treats fundamental subjects such as the definition of constitutionalism, written and unwritten constitutions, models of constitutional adjudication and different approaches to interpretation);
  • the division of governmental powers (which explores the ways in which limitations on governmental powers have been pursued in different constitutional systems (presidential vs parliamentary democracy, federalism and regionalism etc.).

The second part of the Course will tackle the following topics:

  • the European system of human rights' protection (both as regards the European Union and its Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as with reference to the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights).


Giuseppe de Vergottini, Diritto costituzionale comparato, X edition, Padova, Cedam, 2019 [except for pages 215-231, 263-271, 325-345, 561-662].  

Additional and optional readings are available on IOL platform. 

In order to get 1 ECTS within SSD IUS/21, the reading is:

Corte Europea dei Diritti dell'Uomo (GC, 15 November 2018), Navalnyy v. Russia http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-187605

Erasmus and Overseas students may define alternative reading materials with Professor Elena Ferioli.

Teaching methods

The Course will be held in the I semester.

The main part of it runs through lectures about both the theoretical and comparative framework of the main topics of the Course.

The Course will be highly interactive. Theoretical issues will be analysed by reasoning about practical cases, in order to train the Classe to a sufficient mastery of Comparative Public Law.

Whoever needs compensatory measures and/or dispensative tools due to disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) should communicate it to the Professor in order to settle a proper approach to the Course.

Assessment methods

The students' learning will be verified through a final oral exam concerning the Course's contents.

The final assesment will be based on:

  • the knowledge of institutional profiles;
  • the ability to analyze jurisprudential and doctrinal guidelines;
  • the capacity to reason by connecting the different parts of the program;
  • the ability to develop critical arguments;
  • the mastery of legal language.

The following criteria will be used to assign the final mark (that will be out of 30/30):

- knowledge of a very limited number of topics, extensive support by the interviewer to address and answer the questions, basic yet appropriate language à 18-19/30;

- knowledge of a limited number of topics, ability to autonomously address basic legal problems, use of appropriate language → 20-24/30;

- comprehensive knowledge of the programme, ability to autonomously and critically analyse legal problems, use of specific terminology → 25-29/30;

- extensive knowledge of the programme, ability to reason autonomously and critically analyse legal problems, make connections between the topics, ability to master the specific terminology and ability to present legal arguments. → 30-30L/30.

In order to sit for the exam, registration through the electronic platform "Almaesami" is required. The record of the evaluation can be done only on the date set indicated in Almaesami, following the previous registration.

Since the course will be held in the first semester, students who have chosen the Course in the current Academic Year will be able to sit for the exam starting from the month of January.

Teaching tools

It is recommended a frequent consultation of the following websites:

- www.constituteproject.org/

- www.osce.org/hcnm

- www.coe.int/en/web/minorities/



- www.legislationline.org/

- www.hrw.org/

- www.eurac.edu/it/research/autonomies/minrig/Pages/default.aspx

- www.venice.coe.int/

- www.dpce.it/dpce-online/

- www.diritticomparati.it/

- www.giurcost.org/links/index.html

- www.internazionale.it/

- www.costituzionalismo.it/

- www.mpil.de/

- https://freedomhouse.org/

- www.constitutionaltransitions.org/

- www.verfassungblog.de/


Students who need compensatory measures and/or dispensative tools due to disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) should communicate it to the Professor as soon as possible in order to settle a proper approach to the Course.

Office hours

See the website of Elena Ferioli