First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
EPP3049234, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
ECONOMIC LAW (Ord. 2018)
SP1841, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GENERAL THEORY OF LAW
Department of reference Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ELENA PARIOTTI IUS/20
Other lecturers DANIELE RUGGIU IUS/20

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses IUS/20 Philosophy of Law 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 45 105.0 No turn

Start of activities 23/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Prerequisites: No specific background knowledge is required.
Target skills and knowledge: By passing the exam students
(1) acquire knowledge on the features of legal language and legal norms and different legal orders, such as domestic, international, Communitarian order, and transnational law; on the process of application of law, namely with reference to interpretation and interpretive methods;
(2) become able to understand the foundations of the relationship between legal normativity, on the one hand, and authority, political order, and society, on the other hand.
Examination methods: Final exam consists in an oral colloquium that lasts about 20 minutes and develops through four questions covering the content of the syllabus. The first question deals with a broad topic covered by the first block of syllabus and requires students answer by linking together several issues within an integrated frame and through a theoretical path. The second question is a narrower one and asks for a definition of a term or a notion covered by the first block of syllabus. The third question deals with the role of interpretation and argumentation in law, the theories of interpretation and argumentation; the fourth question deals with the interpretive methods.
In anwering all the questions students has to show they have the following knowledge and skills: (a) knowledge and understanding of the features of legal norms and of the several kinds of them; of the structure of the different kind of legal order; of the most recent transformations processes involving legal order and their relations; of the main theories of interpretation and argumentation; of the role of method in law-application; (b) to be able to acknowledge the methods of legal interpretation and appreciate the differences among them; (c) to be able to properly use the legal lexicon at to the aspects and topics covered by the syllabus.
Students have six dates at their disposal to take this exam.
Assessment criteria: The colloquium score is from 18 to 30.
Through the colloquium students has to show (b) knowledge on the structure and features of legal norms and legal orders; on the function and theories of interpretation and argumentation in law; (b) to be able to define notions and phenomena; to be able to distinguish the main interpretive methods and the main theories of interpretation; (c) to be able to properly use the legal lexicon, also with reference to some linked theoretical issues.
Course unit contents: 1. Elements and structure of law (23 hours):
(a) legal norm: structure, validity, effectiveness, efficacy;
(b) the concept of law: open issues and main theories;
(c) doctrine of stare decisis, subjection to law and the issue of judicial discretionality;
(d) law and values: The issue of pluralism seen from the law side;
(e) law and political order: rule of law and constitutional state;
(f) legal system: structure, theories, and kinds (domestic, international, EU legal order, transnational law);
(g) the contemporary transformations of legal systems;
(h) soft law: definition, functions and impact on the notion of law and on legal orders.
2. The application of law and legal interpretation (12 hours)
(a) Relevance of application stage for the understanding law;
(b) Role of method and interpretive methods;
(c) Theories of interpretation.
3. Argumentation and legal reasoning (10 hours)
(a) Role of argumentation in law-application;
(b) Theories of legal argumentation.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: For each of the topics covered by the syllabus, classes will develop through:
(1) Lecturing, in which the teacher introduces the main notions and topics, also by using the tecnique of questioning;
(2) Interactive lecturing: discussion of specific issues and points;
(3) "flipped-classroom": students are invited to work on reading material, which is subsequentely discussed during class or used as a basis for exercises;
(4) working-groups:volunteer students are invited to work in groups by reading given material and presenting the results during classes;
(5) seminars with scholars/experts on some specific topics: in order to actively participate in the seminars students will be given preparatory readings through the distant learning platform;
(6) continuous self-assessment of the individual degree of understanding of the topics covered by the syllabus: through (a) questionnaire that students are invited to answer at home and that are discussed in class; (b) mind-maps that often students are required to work out, to become fully aware of the links among notions, topics, and issues.
Slides that are used during classes, reading materials, self-assessment questionnaires and any further material/information for orienting students in going more deeply into some key-issues are sistematically delivered to students through the on line teaching platform "Moodle" (
Additional notes about suggested reading: Further teaching material will be shared by the students attending the classes through the elearning platform "Moodle":
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • B. Pastore, F. Viola, G. Zaccaria, Le ragioni del diritto. Bologna: il Mulino, 2017. Esclusivamente i capitoli 3, 4, 5, precisamente da p. 157 (dal paragrafo 2) a p. 329. Cerca nel catalogo