Degree course: 
Corso di Long single cycle degree (5 years) in GIURISPRUDENZA
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (50 hours)

Institutions of Private Law, Constitutional Law and History of medieval and modern law exams must be passed beforehand. Konoledge of the basics of criminal law is required.

Final Examination: 

The actual degree of knowledge reached by the students will be assessed at the beginning of every class. The students will interact directly with the professor in resuming the previous statements, or asking questions, or examining them closely. All the students are requested to take part, as to become more confident in addressing in a large audience.
The final oral examination will take place before an examination board, chaired by professor Danusso, according to the current academic rules, and the mark will be in fractions of 30.
The final examination will run as follow. First, a question of general contents, then a number of questions on more specific issues, as to ascertain the acquisition of the notions requested (70%), to evaluate the communication skills acquired (10%), the appropriate understanding and the use of legal terminology (10%), the ability in logic and discourse structuring (10%).
Students, as they reply the questions, should respect the linkage of the historical events as well as the historical evolution of principles and rules of law, and should demonstrate to be able to make connections and comparisons among the various subjects treated.

Voto Finale

The course aims to illustrate the genesis and development of criminal codification (law and trial) from juridical Enlightenment to fascism. The students will be introduced to the origin and the affirmation of some principles still in force in the Western countries, such as the principle of legality, the presumption of innocence, the individual criminal liability. Some important and problematic issues will be examined from a historical and evolutionary point of view: for example, complicity and attempt crime, how punishments are laid down by law, perpetual punishment and death penalty legitimacy. About the trial, we will analyze the two main models of legal trials, the inquisitional system and the accusatory system, and their rotation throughout history. About evidences, we will highlight the difference between the legal evidence system and that of the judge’s free conviction.

The course deals with the development of criminal law and criminal trial starting with juridical Enlightenment, when the foundations of the principles still in force in the Western countries are laid. Special attention will be paid to Cesare Beccaria’s thought and to his influence on the reforms of some enlightened sovereigns (the Habsburgs, the Prussians and the Bavarians) and the French revolutionaries. After examining the Napoleonic codification and the legislations of Restauration, we will focus on some aspects of Italian criminal law and criminal trial after Unification.

Recommended textbooks are different according to the status of the students: attending and

Adriano CAVANNA, Storia del diritto moderno in Europa. Le fonti e il pensiero giuridico, vol. 2, Milano, Giuffrè, 2005, ISBN 88-14-11860-4, only the parts mentioned below: Storia dell’Europa e del diritto: pp. 13-32; Le origini dell’idea di codificazione: pp. 33-68; Il tribunale della ragione: pp. 69-87; Montesquieu: pp. 117-135; L’Enciclopedia: pp. 136-138; Voltaire: pp. 139-157; Rousseau: pp. 158-167; Lumi lunari: pp. 174-189; Lumi solari: pp. 190-222; Area russa: pp. 225-228; Area prussiana: pp. 229-251; Area austriaca: pp. 253-256 (§ 1: La politica riformistica di Maria Teresa); pp. 260-263 (§ 3 A: Il riformismo di Giuseppe II); pp. 292-335; Leopoldina: pp. 337-358; Progetto lombardo: pp. 359-392; La Francia, pp. 395-430; 438-439 (§ 3 B: La Costituzione civile del clero); pp. 474-514; pp. 527-529 (§ 2: La restaurazione post-termidoriana); pp. 534-539 (§ 4 B: Nel diritto penale; § 5: Dall’illusione al disincanto); pp. 542-544 (§ 6 B: La divulgazione del pensiero di Jeremy Bentham); pp. 553-555 (§ 1: Napoleone, il ceto dei giuristi); pp. 590-606.
The topics of the lectures not covered by the textbook will be summarized on the e-learning platform.

1)Adriano CAVANNA, Storia del diritto moderno in Europa. Le fonti e il pensiero giuridico, vol. 2, Milano, Giuffrè, 1982, ISBN 88-14-03192-4, the whole book.
2)C. DANUSSO, Patibolo ed ergastolo dall’Unità al fascismo, in “Penale contemporaneo – Rivista trimestrale”, 4, 2017, pp. 51-67, download from the link:


This course runs in the first semester. There are 50 frontal teaching hours (corresponding to 8 credits) enriched and integrated by teaching materials put in the e-learning platform, like some chapters of Cesare Beccaria's "Dei delitti e delle pene", the most important articles of the criminal laws in force in the different periods and doctrinal development of crucial issues. In particular the students are requested to have a free reading of those texts as to stimulate a critical approach, as well as ability in communication. Professors from other Universities may be invited for free. They will contribute with presentations and seminars in the widening of the core notions acquired by the students in the course.