PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
Learning outcomes of the course unit
By attending the lectures and/or by studying the textbooks, the students shall be able to:
1. Know and understand the basic concepts and paradigmatic issues of philosophy of law, also in their historical development;
2. Recognize and understand the different perspectives of legal thought;
3. Apply the acquired knowledge to the problems addressed in the current practice of law;
4. Understand and master the special vocabulary of legal philosophy;
5. Improve their language skills and expressive abiliy;
6. Develop an autonomous learning method.
Course contents summary
This course is intended to provide the students with the knowledge of the philosophical questions concerning the law: its reasons, foundations, aims and functioning.
1. Outline of the prominent schools of legal thought, from a theoretical and historical point of view (natural law school; legal positivism; historicism; realism; pragmatism).
2. Theoretical views of the prominent legal philosophers, from XVII century to the present (Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Austin, Kelsen, Olivecrona, Ross, Hart, Fuller, Finnis, Dworkin);
3. Focus on some paradigmatic topics: theories of justice; theories of punishment; theories of rights; Common Law; legal interpretation; relationship between law and morality; obligation to obey the law);
4. A special section concerning the Rule of Law as a legal ideal, and the distinction between legal State and constitutional State.
The textbooks are the same for both attending and non attending students:
1. B.H. BIX, Teoria del diritto. Idee e contesti, Giappichelli, Torino 2016
(only pp. XXIII-XXVII; chapt. 3, pp. 43-69; chapt. 4, pp. 75-86; chapt. 5, pp. 89-102; chapt. 6, pp. 109-116; chapt. 7, pp. 119-133; chapt. 8, pp. 139-157; chapt. 9 e 10, pp. 159-175; chapt. 13, pp. 193-200; chapt. 14, pp. 203-210; chapt. 15, pp. 213-225; chapt. 16, pp. 227-238; chapt. 17, pp. 241-253; chapt. 22, pp. 347-358);
2. C. FARALLI, Le grandi correnti della filosofia del diritto, seconda edizione con appendice antologica, Giappichelli, Torino 2014
(only pp. 167-193; 198-205; 207-210; 213; 221-271; 281-302);
3. G. PALOMBELLA, È possibile una legalità globale? Il Rule of Law e la governance del mondo, il Mulino, Bologna 2012
(only chapt. 1, pp. 17-66).
Please note that this bibliography refers to the academic year 2017-2018. Former students may choose between this bibliography and theirs.
Lectures are basically intended to guide the students to master the subjects addressed in the textbooks, and to develop an autonomous learning method.
The first lectures shall put and explain some basic concepts of philosophy of law (such as natural law, legal positivism, formalism and anti-formalism, realism, interpretative approach), in order to make the attending students able to easily understand the issues addressed in the following lectures, and to make the non attending students able to understand the textbooks without difficulty.
In the further lectures, teaching shall follow the treatment of the subjects as it is developed in the textbooks.
Lectures shall pay attention to analysis of some paradigmatic texts of legal philosophers, in order to allow the students a more concrete approach to the addressed issues.
An intermediate test shall be scheduled, only for attending students, during the course (see below).
A preliminary test shall be scheduled, for all the students, between the end of the course and the beginning of the examinations (see below).
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination, consisting of some questions concerning the issues addressed in the textbooks.
Different kinds of questions:
- broad and general questions intended to test the knowledge of prominent legal philosophers and schools of legal thought;
- more specific questions intended to test the ability to recognize, compare, and distinguish the different perspectives of legal thought;
- questions focusing on the understanding of the main concepts and problems of philosophy of law.
To pass the examination the students have to provide at least two correct answers out of three.
Mark range: 30/30 and mention to 18/30.
- broadness and depth of the acquired knowledge;
- adequate competence in order to understand the mentioned topics;
- thoughtful exposition of the subjects, beyond a mechanical repetition;
- language skills and expressive ability.
Final mark shall be the average of the marks obtained in each answer (including the mark obtained in intermediate and/or preliminary test, see below)
If a student does not pass the examination (or if he want to improve the obtained mark), he may apply for next examination.
An intermediate test shall be scheduled during the course, only for attending students, at the end of october 2017. This test shall have the same structure as the final examination, but it shall concern only the subjects addressed in the first part of the course.
The students shall apply for this test during the lectures.
Mark obtained in this test shall contribute to the final mark (if satisfactory), or it shall serve as an intermediate self-assessment tool (if not satisfactory), in order to make the student able to improve his knowledge and learning method toward the final examination.
A preliminary test shall be scheduled, for all the students, at the beginning of december 2017, between the end of the course and the beginning of final examinations. This test shall have the same structure as the final examination.
The students shall apply for this test by e-mail as indicated in the website.
Mark obtained in this test shall contribute to the final mark (if satisfactory), or it shall serve as a self-assessment tool (if not satisfactory), in order to make the student able to improve his knowledge and learning method toward the final examination.