Prof. Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich
COMPARATIVE LEGAL SYSTEMS
(9 ECTS – SSD IUS/02)
II semester A.A. 2021/2022
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This syllabus is for Roma Tre students enrolled in the Global Legal Studies programme. It is longer than the traditional “Introduction to Comparative Legal Systems” course which is part of the “Studying Law at Roma Tre” programme because it brings 9 ECTS instead of 7 ECTS∗.
The course cuts across traditional – and by now outdated – divisions between public law and private law, between substantive law and procedural law, and between the so – called civil law/common law divide. The course is focused on the Western Legal Tradition and explains the pitfalls of comparisons with non-Western systems.
The course is divided in nine modules with the following content
- I MODULE: DEMOCRATIC SYSTEMS
US presidentialism. – British parliamentarism. – Semi-presidential models. – EU concentration of powers. – Electoral systems.
- II MODULE: VALUES
Constitutionalism. – Bill of rights, fundamental rights, human rights. – Constitutional adjudication.- Rule of law. – Universalism vs Relativism. – The religious factor
- III MODULE: GOVERNMENT
The structure of Government. – Administration. – “Independent Agencies”. – Public participation in administrative procedures. – Judicial control over Government
- IV MODULE: THE ECONOMIC DIMENSION
Private autonomy. – Legal entities. – Insolvency. – Regulation. – State aid
- V MODULE: THE “WELFARE STATE”
Taxation. – Social services. – Labour relations and legislation
- VI MODULE: REPRESSION OF CRIMES
Substantive law vs. Procedural law. – What is a crime? – Who establishes crimes? – Sanctions. – Investigation, Prosecution, trial. – Offenders and victims
- VII MODULE: JUDGES AND JURISDICTION
Status of judges. – Judicial organization. – Rules of Procedure. – Judicial power. – Legal education. – Judges and/as literature
- VIII MODULE: MODELS FOR A GLOBALIZED WORLD
International conventions. – Uniform laws. – Lex Mercatoria. – International institutions. – Comparative international law.
- IX MODULE: A COMPARATIVE APPROACH TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Apportionment of powers during emergencies – The conflict between public health and individual liberties – Scientists as a new “power” – National health services, drug approval, international trade and protection of patents.
Lessons will begin on Tuesday, March 1st, and will be held every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 pm to 6 pm, excepting public holidays and when academic activity is suspended, following the topics listed in the course description (above).
It is expected that lessons will end towards the end of May.
– Lessons will be in hybrid mode: both in presence and online, in streaming on the Teams platform, for those who are not attending in presence. Please excuse, in advance, any technical inconveniences and glitches that you may encounter.
– Lessons will be recorded and made available on the YouTube platform.
The course aims at introducing students, with a holistic perspective, to what a legal system is, what are the main differences between them, how to compare them. They main aim is that of showing the extreme complexity of contemporary legal systems and the continuous circulation of models between them.
Course Learning Activities
The course consists of lectures on the main aspects of a legal system. Each module will be supported by seminar on specific topics, using legal material (legislation, decisions, statistical data, legal writings).
The final exam will consist in a written essay in which students will be asked to answer to one hypothetical case (out of a choice of several) which draws on the topics presented during the classes.
Attendance is strongly recommended, in order to learn to use actively English language skills and to start working with the numerous foreign students who attend the class.
V. ZENO-ZENCOVICH, Comparative legal systems. A short and illustrated introduction (second edition), Roma TrE-Press, 2019 (volume in open access is downloadable from the Roma TrE-Press website: Link identifier #identifier__90881-1https://romatrepress.uniroma3.it/libro/comparative-legal-systems-a-short-and-illustrated-introduction/ )
Vincenzo Zeno- Zencovich is full professor of Comparative Law and Director of the “Studying Law at Roma Tre” programme. He has received degrees in Political Sciences and in Law from the University of Rome La Sapienza and has completed his education in the USA (Harvard Law School) and in England (Cambridge University). After having taught in the Universities of Genoa, Sassari and Cagliari, since 1999 he is on the faculty of the Law Department of the University of Roma Tre, where he teaches also EU Transport Law. He has been visiting professor in the University of Oxford and at University College London and in other US and European universities. From 2012 to 2015 he has been Rector of the Rome University for International Studies (UNINT) He has been, from 2013 to 2021, Chairman of the Italian Association of Comparative Law (AIDC).
∗ The syllabus for SL@R3 students is available at the following webpage: Link identifier #identifier__31579-2http://studylaw.uniroma3.it/introduction-to-comparative-legal-systems-202_c10101.aspx