99683 - RULE OF LAW: FOUNDATIONS AND APPLICATIONS

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course will analyze and critically address the rule of law as an ideal that lies at the basis of contemporary constitutional systems. In the first part, the course will expound the philosophical and conceptual facets of such ideal and, then, will inquire into the main models of the rule of law. In the second part, the course will examine the applicative dimension of the rule of law, focusing on the legal institutes that it grounds in the different constitutional traditions, as well as those that it might ground at the transnational and global level.

Course contents

What is the 'rule of law'? Why is it so relevant to our consttiutional systems? What does the rule of law require and how did it develop throughout different legal traditions? Will the rule of law meet the challenges posed at a transnational and global level? And how?

Addressing these questions, the course will analyze the ideal of the rule of law in conceptual terms and, then, will examine its applicative dimension. 

In the first part, the course will outline the concept of the rule of law and its  evolution with a focus on; a) the concept and definition(s) of the rule of law; b)  the philosophical foundations and the relations with constitutionalism; c) the historical evolution in different legal traditions.

In the second part, the course will address the applicative dimension of the rule of law, to shed light on the institutions that find their justification in this ideal as well as those that it might ground at the transnational and global level: a) rule of law and due process; b) rule of law and judicial review; c) rule of law, supra-national law and international law; d) rule of law, democratisation and nation-building; e) rule of law, human rights and terrorism.

 

Readings/Bibliography

 

Readings for attending students:  

J. Waldron, "The Rule of Law", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

P. Costa, D. Zolo (eds.) The Rule of Law, Springer, 2007, pp. 73-291; 323-352.

Craig, P., 1997, “Formal and Substantive Conceptions of the Rule of Law: An Analytical Framework” Public Law, (1997): 467–87.

Raz, J.“The Rule of Law and its Virtue”, in The Authority of Law, Oxford University Press, 1979.

Ten, C. L. "Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law." A companion to contemporary Political Philosophy (2017), pp. 93-502.

S. Chesterman, “An International Rule of Law?” American Journal of Comparative Law, 56(2008): 331–61.

R. Dworkin, “Political Judges and the Rule of Law”, in A Matter of Principle, Harvard University Press, 1985, pp. 9–32.

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Non attending students will be required to integrate these readings with other excerpts from P. Costa, D. Zolo (eds.) The Rule of Law, Springer, 2007: pp. 3-71; e 353-439.

 

 

Teaching methods

The lectures will cover course contents and include the discussion and critical analysis of selected readings and judicial decisions in class. Further information about the course will be provided in class and published online.

Assessment methods

The evaluation will consist of an oral exam testing the students' understanding of the theoretical and applicative issues addressed during the course. Hence, the exam will not necessarily dwell on specific textual passages but will  test the students' ability to develop a critical analysis of the issues discussed during the course. Normally, the oral examination consists of a series of questions, in connection with the readings required for the course, and the final grade is the result of an average of the results of the answers to these questions.

Final grading criteria:

- sufficient or barely sufficient knowledge on the programme, limited reasoning ability, some difficulties in using technical and legal language → 18-21/30;

- fairly good knowledge of the programme, adequate critical reasoning ability, sound use of technical and legal language → 22-25/30;

- comprehensive knowledge of the programme, notable reasoning ability, good command of technical and legal language → 26-29/30;

- extensive knowledge of the programme, very good reasoning ability, and ability to fully master technical-legal language → 30-30L/30.

Teaching tools

Slides and handouts summarizing the course contents; discussion and critical analysis of selected readings and judicial decisions in class; use of online platforms to access and exchange information about the course.

All information relative to the course, along with any course material, will be available online at https://iol.unibo.it/ or https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/c.valentini

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Valentini