Through the historical-comparative method, the course aims, in the first part, to provide students with the tools to analyze and understand different concepts of law and different ways to legitimate the law in the main legal traditions (Civil law, Common law, legal systems of Islamic countries, main Asian legal systems, South American legal systems). In the second part, the course aims to deepen the historical-comparative aspects of the European integration process and the evolution of the Chinese legal system.


teacher profile | teaching materials



1. Introduction to comparative law
Origins, nature and functions of comparative law - variety of positive laws - classification of legal families - Standardization, harmonization and globalization of law (methods and significant examples) - The European multilevel legal system.

2. The Western Legal Tradition
Roman and Canon Law – Ius Commune europeo – Superior courts before Codification era – Age of Codifications – Age of Constitutions – The Common Law – Equity system – Inns of Court, Bench & Bar – Reports and binding precedent – The Rule of Law – Civil Law and Common Law convergence – The European legal culture – USA legal system – South-American legal systems - North European legal tradition.

3. Other legal traditions
Chines legal system – Indian legal system – Japanese legal system - Sharia – African legal systems.

Core Documentation

1. Introduction to comparative law
V. Varano – V. Barsotti, La tradizione giuridica occidentale, 2021, Giappichelli, limitatamente al capitolo I (Introduzione al diritto comparato).

2. The Western legal tradition
V. Varano – V. Barsotti, La tradizione giuridica occidentale, 2021, Giappichelli, limitatamente ai capitoli II (La tradizione di civil law), III (La tradizione di common law) e IV (La tradizione giuridica dei paesi nordici).

3. Others legal tradition and western legal tradition
V. Varano – V. Barsotti, La tradizione giuridica occidentale, 2018, Giappichelli, limitatamente al capitolo V (Incontri della tradizione giuridica occidentale)
Federico Roberto Antonelli, Il diritto cinese dall'antica alla nuova via della seta. Padova, Libreria Universitaria.it edizioni, 2021.

Type of delivery of the course

The main teaching method consists of frontal classroom lessons aimed at acquiring the fundamental knowledge for the achievement of the learning objectives. Participation of students in such classroom lessons is recommended but not mandatory.


The participation of students in classroom lessons is recommended but not mandatory. It is usefull for the students to read the essays and texts indicated by the exam program during the semester in order to take actively parte in the lessons.

Type of evaluation

The exam is oral. The criteria to which reference will be made for the evaluation of the exam are the following: Knowledge of contents / Clarity / Ability to synthesize and analyze / Language skill/ Critical judgment capacity . Attending students can attend an intermediate test for partially replace the final oral exam.