20110251 - Comparative constitutional law

The course introduces the most relevant topics of comparative constitutional law through their historical contextualization and by addressing the problems of contemporary societies through the study of actual cases, in order to highlight the intersections between systems, their convergence and divergence
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course aims to illustrate the history, methods and problems of the comparative constitutionalism and to introduce the main constitutional systems and traditions of the world. Special attention will be put on currently debated constitutional issues, from the perspective of the solutions implemented within different legal systems; at the same time, in a historical perspective, the course will highlight the intersections between law, culture and society in the development of those solutions. Finally, it will reflect on the prospects opened up by the processes of the harmonization of constitutional traditions.

This course includes a general part where the fundamental concepts and areas of Comparative constitutional law are introduced. It will then focus on selected topics consistent with the degree programme. For this, experts will be invited to hold lectures. Finally, the course foresses in-class discussion and other classroom activities that will allow analyzing concretely the problems discussed through the greatest involvement of students.

Core Documentation

Students can choose between the two following options (A/B):
Programma A
P. Carrozza – A. Di Giovine – G.F. Ferrari, Diritto costituzionale comparato, Tomo II, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2014
Excerpts: La comparazione giuridica. Profili introduttivi, pp. 1-19 - Il diritto pubblico comparato nell’età della globalizzazione: problemi interordinamentali, pp. 23-24 - Costituzioni e costituzionalismo, pp. 37-146 - Le forme di stato, pp. 149-196 - L’Unione europea, pp. 201-223 - La distribuzione territoriale dei poteri, pp. 225-247 - La classificazione delle forme di governo, pp. 249-309 - L’organizzazione costituzionale, pp. 313-424 - La giustizia costituzionale, pp. 427-475
M. Volpi, Libertà e autorità. La classificazione delle forme di Stato e delle forme di governo, Settima edizione, Torino, Giappichelli, 2018.

Programma B
G. Morbidelli - M. Volpi – G. Cerrina Ferroni, Diritto costituzionale comparato, Torino, Giappichelli, 2020 [sostituisce G. Morbidelli - L. Pegoraro - A. Rinella - M. Volpi, Diritto pubblico comparato, Torino, Giappichelli, 2016]
Entire volume

Knowledge of the constitutions of the relevent countries is essential.

Non-attending students should read also the following book:
S. Cassese, Lo Stato fascista, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016


Type of delivery of the course

The course will be organized through lectures structured in a way as to stimulate students' interventions and classroom discussion. In particular, this teaching methodology applies to the general part and the second part devoted to the presentation of case studies and specific problems. To this end, the teacher will make use of IT tools (PowerPoint presentation) and video materials. The third part of the course adopts a dialogical and interactive learning methodology that allows students - alone or gathered in small groups - to work and analyze in class materials submitted by the teacher (case-law, journal articles, constitutional documents etc.). Finally, it will be possible for students to agree with the teacher a topic to be analyzed in a short text to be discussed in class. Attendance to the course is non-compulsory. However, students who attend the lectures (at least 80%) will have the opportunity to discuss in class a topic agreed with the teacher, which will be taken into consideration for the final assessment. Moreover, these students are exempted from some readings for the final exam, regarding topics that are analyzed during the course.

Type of evaluation

Assessment of students' learning consists of an oral exam based on the reference readings and bibliography. However, assessment is carried out differenttly depending on whether the student attends or does not attend lessons (the status of student who attend the course is obtained if he or she is not not absent for more than 10% of the lessons). For students who attend the course, assessment based on the oral exam is supplemented by assessment on participation in the course. On his request, during the course the student can agree with the teacher to draft a paper to be presented in the classroom, which will also integrate the final assessment. Furthermore, the student attending the course will be exempted from some readings normally required for preparing the oral exam, since they relate to topics that have been analyzed in classroom.