Degree course: 
Corso di Long single cycle degree (5 years) in Law - Varese
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Seat of the course: 
Varese - Padiglione Morselli
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (55 hours)

For a profitable learning of the contents of the course, an appropriate knowledge of Constitutional Law and of Philosophy of the Law is required, given the influence that these disciplines have on Criminal Law, specifically on criminalization choices and on the theory of punishment, and for a full understanding of law as a tool for conflict settlement.

Final Examination: 

The exam will consist of final oral exam on the contents of the course and the marking will be on a scale from 1 to 30.
The oral exam, which will last for about 30 minutes, will be carried out according to the inverted cone method: a general open question, followed by some more specific open questions to favour further paths of analysis.
More specifically, the following skills will be subject to evaluation: the ability to report the contents of the program in a manner appropriate to the peculiarities of the subject and according to correct logical-systematic rules; argumentative reasoning skills and problem-solving abilities; the communicative skills and the proper use of technical-legal terminology. The final mark will take into account not only the correctness of the answers, but also the possession of "generalist skills" (critical thinking, analytical reasoning, the ability to criticize an argument and to solve problems, technique and effectiveness of expression).
Exams will take place in compliance with the University provisions relating to the Covid emergency.

Voto Finale

The objective of the course is the analytical and systematic presentation of the “parte generale” of Criminal Law, i.e. the principles and legal concepts that govern the application of criminal provisions. The course also intends to underline the influence that supranational legal sources (in particular, the European Convention on Human Rights and EU Law) exert actually on national Criminal Law, influencing not only the application of the provisions, but also the founding principles of Criminal Law.
At the end of the course the student is expected to have acquired: (a) a systematic knowledge of the “parte generale” of criminal law, including the ability to make connections, where required, between the different legal principles and legal concepts of the subject; (b) the ability to interpret and apply criminal provisions of the “parte speciale”, also by solving practical cases; (c) the appropriate use of juridical-penal language and the ability to make legal argumentation: the student must be able to evaluate the relevant provisions and case law with autonomy of judgment and to proceed to a critical reading of the material, according to the founding principles of the subject and to the relevant concepts in the political-criminal debate.
The Criminal Law course is preliminary to that of Advanced Criminal Law; therefore, the student is required to develop an adequate learning ability in the Criminal Law field, such as to allow an easy and effective attendance of the next course.
Applicants for the access to the profession of lawyer or judiciary must pass a written test about criminal law.

The course includes the study of the following topics:
- theories of punishment; the distinctive traits of Criminal Law and the relationship between Criminal Law and Criminal Policy;
- all the aspects of the principle of legality;
- the sources of Criminal Law, in the light of the EU Law and the influence of the European Convention on Human Rights on Italian Criminal Law;
- the systematic analysis of the offence;
- the elements of a crime: actus reus and causation; omissions, offences that cause harm and offences that cause endangerment; justification in general and the main defenses in the Penal Code; culpability, with regard, specifically, to mens rea, strict liability, mistake as to one element of the actus reus, mistake as to a defence element, mistake as to law, mental capacity, excuses;
- punishability;
- attempt and participation in crime;
- apparent and actual applicability of more than one provision to the same action or omission o to a number of action or omissions;
- the circumstances of the crime that result in an increase or decrease of the penalty;
- criminal sanction system (specifically, types of sanction, sentencing, execution of the penalty, extinction of the penalties; types of security measures and the law relating to security measures).
During the lectures, the Professor will mention - where required for a comparative study of the topic - the fundamental aspects of corporate criminal liability and the “giudice di pace” justice system.

Students are required to study the following textbook: G. Marinucci – E. Dolcini – G. L. Gatta, Manuale di diritto penale. Parte generale, ult. ed., Milano, Giuffrè.

It is also necessary to use an updated version of the Penal Code and the related legislation, for which the following volume is recommended: Codice penale e normativa complementare, Milano, Raffaello Cortina Editore, ult. ed.

On the e-learning platform, power-point presentations, relevant judgments, papers and practical cases, which will be discussed and commented during the lessons, will be uploaded at the appropriate time.


The course takes place in the first semester and includes 55 hours of lectures.
The course will consist of lectures, during which the theoretical presentation of the topics will be accompanied by the exegesis of the relevant provisions, the analysis of the leading cases and the resolution of practical cases.
Students will also have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned, both during lectures and through the e-learning platform, where the topics and main materials discussed in the lectures will be available to students.
According to University provisions, during Covid emergency, lessons will be held in the classroom with the presence of the teacher, but they will also broadcast via Teams.
The course aims to encourage active participation in the discussion of the students, to promote their communication and problem solving skills.
For that purpose, teachers will organize meetings via Teams to discuss with students topics and materials covered in the lessons.

During the lecture period, office hour will take place at the end of the lecture or, by appointment via e-mail, via Teams at a date and time to be agreed.
At the end of the class period, office hour will continue via Teams by appointment to be agreed by email.
To schedule office hour and for enquiries or doubts, the teacher is always available by e-mail at