This course provides for the introduction to the fundamentals of Private Law - property, contract, obligations and torts - which will be considered with a view to examining their relevance to contemporary social and economic conditions. Attention will be especially given to the impact of digitalisation, artificial intelligence and robotics on the traditional categories and assumptions of private law. The course will be lecture-based and will include case law assessment and debates.
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The course will be divided into three sections: 1) introduction to private law and its foundations; 2) property rights, obligations and contracts; 3) torts.
The first section provides for an introduction to private law against the background of its opposition to public law and then investigates the concept of the code and the features of the '42 civil code. Particular attention will be paid to the sources of private law within the constitutional and European framework. The fundamentals of private law and the legal entities will then be addressed. The section will close with an overview of the new rights agglomerated around the concept of privacy, including personal data protection schemes and digital identity issues.
The second section deals with property, ownership and possession, analyses the so called "new properties" and the issues related to the Internet of things (IoT). The foundamentals of the law of obligations and contract law will be examined with specific regard to the role of European contract law in reshaping the traditional relationship between freedom of contract and market regulation. Against this background, the course will examine ecommerce contracts, digital goods, potential and issues raised by algorithmic negotiation, Smart contracts and remote utility control.
The third section will be dedicated to the fundamentals of torts, also in comparison with liability for non-performance. With a view to examining the impact of tecnological development on the law of torts, the section will deal with the topic of damages caused by artificial intelligence and robots, with particular attention to the solutions currently available in other jurisdictions.

Core Documentation

A) - Mazzamuto (a cura di), Manuale del diritto privato, Torino, Giappichelli (latest edition available)

B) - civil code (updated)

Reference Bibliography


Type of delivery of the course

The course is based on two kind of classes: (i) general lectures, aimed at providing students with the theoretical foundations of the course; (ii) seminars, aimed at providing students with a more interactive, and therefore more critical, perspective of the theoretical concepts.

Type of evaluation

The assessment method is oral and consists of three or more questions on different parts of the programme. The evaluation criteria are: knowledge acquired of the subject, competence in using technical terminology, quality in the exposition of the topics.