Ph. D. in Public Law

The Ph. D. program in “Public Law” is the result of the union between the preexistant Ph. D. programs in “Constitutional Law and General Public Law”, in “Administrative Law”, and in “Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law”. It aims to train young scholars for specialistic investigation in different areas of the Public Law. The Ph. D. program in “Public Law” deals with what concerns main metodological trends and fundamental concepts as developed by the legal science in the fields of Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law, starting from the birth of national States up to the current situation, characterized by supranational integration and globalization processes. Furthermore particular reference is devoted to the transformations which have involved public powers as well as the relations between public and private, as a consequence of the huge changes which have interested the economical system and the growth of interdependencies among national legal systems. The main purpose of the Ph. D. program in “Public Law” is therefore the rethink of the systematic which has been elaborated throughout the ages, in this scenario of transformations.

Particular attention will be devoted to the problems of “European Constitutional Law” and “European Administrative Law”.

For what concern the “Criminal and Criminal Procedure Law” area, the Ph. D. program in “Public Law is oriented to a formative iter which, though maintaining a scientific approach based on traditional dogmatic premises, is open to an interdisciplinary approach to subjects as Penitentiary Law, Criminology, Legal Medicine and Forensic Psichology. Particular reference will be devoted to the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and of the European Courts dealing with Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law.


The Ph. D. program is divided into three different curricula: “Constitutional Law and General Public Law”, “Administrative Law”, and “Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law”.


Constitutional Law and General Public Law Curriculum.

The Curriculum concerns the main objects of the two disciplines, as defined by italian and european legal science and developed from different schools and trends in the last fifty years, and in particular:

a. Legal Systems (general, sectional, national, supranational)

b. Sources of Law, in particular referring to their different features due both to the legal system they are related with (national, supranational, regional) and to the subjects they’re addessed to;

c. Fundamental Rights, in particolar referring to multilevel protection of Fundamental Rights in Europe;

d. Devolution;

e. Constitutional Guarantees and Constitutional Review of Legislation;

f. Government, especially referring to the relations between the supreme National powers, to the Regions as well as to the European institutions.

The approach to these objects considers their development from the Science of Public Law, as well as the suggestions of other legal disciplines. Public lawyers are in fact deeply aware of the unity of legal experience and of the interdependance between the different sections of legal system, especially since constitutional prevision of general principles concerning the different sections of legal order took place.

The importance of this Curriculum descends from some of the main characteristics of the contemporary development of Constitutional State, as the new role of national State, the construction of supranational systems that assume typical State powers, the worldwide spread of human rights protection. This phaenomena concerns – in a dogmatic as well as comparative perspective – subjects, relations, functions and powers that find in Constitutional and General Public Law their history and scientific elaboration.


Curriculum in Administrative Law.

This Curriculum aims, on one hand, to study the transformations in organisation and functioning of public administrations; on the other hand, it approaches problems related to rule of law and judicial protection against acts of the administration, with particular attention to the role of judges in the construction of the principles of administrative law. For what concerns the first aim, it must be said that the last twenty years have been characterized by a great number of reforms that have been changing deeply the organisation and functioning of the administration. Moreover, the evolution has been fastened by judicial decisions, that introduced new rules for the administration, overtaking traditional principles and models. Furthermore, other innovations are contained in some fundamental drafts of law concerning general rules for the activity of the administration.

The Curriculum aims to train scholars to the knowledge of administrative law as well as to the comprehension of the internal functioning of the administration, in order to describe and even guide their transformation with scientific and practical work. Theorical and practical approach will be integrated, and a specific attention to the concrete problems of the administration will be granted, also through relations and meetings with public officers, especially when working on thesis related to those aspects.

The previous courses concerned, in particular, public services, global public powers, administrative law of the EU, and european integration of administration. Particular attention was given to accountability, due to recent reforms (also concerning the powers of administrative jurisdiction). Furthermore, the field of investigation of the Curriculum concerns the international administrations, their cooperation with the national ones, as well as sectional problems (food security, environmental protection, competition).


The two Ph. D. programs that come together in the new Ph. D. program in “Public Law” contribued to the construction of an important cultural heritage – that will be enforced by the new program - as demonstrated by the former students, both referring to those that went on investigating in the Law Faculty and to those who get employed as public officers in the most important italian public institutions.


Curriculum in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law.

The master course in criminal law and procedure offers a didactic-formative experience especially focused on an interdisciplinary approach to criminal sciences that will prompt students to give wider scope to their studies, taking into account mutual interactions with and influences of kin disciplines such as penitentiary law, criminology, legal medicine and forensic psychology. The interdisciplinary prospective fosters a formative process which, though maintaining a scientific approach based on traditional dogmatic premises, encourages students to seek a deeper understanding of the ever more frequent connections among different juridical sciences and between the latter and other disciplines now widely used in forensic praxis, with particular attention to actual practice. In a word, the course pursues the methodological refinement and specialistic formation of young scholars capable of producing works of notable theoretical value yet susceptible of practical application.

The curriculum requires students to draft scientific papers of relatively limited scope (short articles, comments, notes on a sentence, bibliographical reviews) highlighting themes that upon further study will ultimately provide the basis for a comprehensive monographic treatise. This may open the way to higher didactic positions and functions in the academic world. In line with the inspiring principles of the course, the monography, whose subject should be one of notable dogmatic importance and in the field of criminal law (general, special or complementary) or of criminal procedure (general theory or special aspects) must reflect an original personal approach.

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