Foto del docente

Carlo Antonio Guarnieri Calbo Crotta

Alma Mater Honorary Professor

Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

Adjunct professor

Department of Political and Social Sciences


The main research interest has been the comparative analysis of structural and functional traits of judicial system, with special emphasis on democratic and transitional countries. More specifically, he has analyzed the characters of judicial guarantees of independence, their main traits and their evolution. A similar attention has been devoted to the status and role of public prosecution and to the principle of compulsory prosecution. More recently, his interests have focused on the process of judicialization of politics - that is, the expansion of judicial power - with specific attention to Italy and Europe and on the increasing significance of supranational and transnational justice for national courts.

Current research projects:


-          The relationships between the judicial system and the political system in Italy and Europe;

-          The Dilemmas of Judicial Power, directed by Centre for the Study of Law and Society of the University of California, Berkeley;

-         The Implementation of Human Rights Rulings in Europe and Latin America, in collaboration with 6 Latin American universities and with the Universities of Wisconsin at Madison and of Texas at Austin;

-          Menu for Justice. Toward a European Curriculum Studiorum on Judicial Studies, an Erasmus LLP, coordinated together with Daniela Piana.

The expansion of judicial power in contemporary democracies is a well-known phenomenon, although it shows specific traits in different countries: while in some political systems courts play a particularly significant role, there are other cases in which judicial participation to the process of policy-making and policy implementation is more limited. In continental Europe there seems to be a division between the judicial systems of the German-Scandinavian area and those of Latin Europe. In the former, the relationships between courts and politics seem still arranged according to the traditional division of labour, where political institutions enact general norms and courts limit themselves to their application, the institution of forms of constitutional review not having radically affected the situation. In Latin Europe the situation is different. Here, judicial guarantees of independence have been significantly strengthened and the institution of forms of constitutional review has influenced the prevailing definition of the judicial role, which today supports the autonomy of the judge vis-à-vis the political branches. The aim of the research is to analyze current changes in this area, focusing on France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Belgium. More specifically, the prevailing definitions of the judicial role and the propensity toward activism will be analyzed. The first results of this work have been inserted in the project “Dilemmas of Judicial Power”, organized by the University of California at Berkeley and supported also by the collaboration agreement between that university and Bologna. In the future, the concrete implementation of judicial guarantees of independence as well the recommendations on the matter by various international and supra-national institutions – like the United Nations and the Council of Europe - will be continuously monitored.

Another theme of research concerns the building of the “European Judicial Space”. It is a process that recently has acquired high significance and presents different aspects: from the role played by supranational courts, like the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights, to the emerging significance of coordinating structure like EuroJust. At present, a project aiming at evaluating the conditions supporting the implementation of the ECtHR ruling is taking off. The project is carried out inside a larger project devoted to analysing the implementation of the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, carried out by six Latin American universities - the "Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México" ITAM; the "Escola de Direito de Sao Paulo, Fundacao Getulio Vargas", Brasil; the" Universidad de los Andes", Colombia; the "Universidad de Buenos Aires", Argentina; the "Universidad Católica del Perú" in Lima and "Universidad Diego Portales" of Santiago del Chile - as well as by the University of Wisconsin‑Madison and the University of Texas at Austin.  The contribution of the University of Bologna will to single out the elements supporting in Europe the implementation of Human Rights rulings and to compare, from this point of view, the European and the Latin American situations.