CEILS courses

First Year


Comparative Legal Systems

Classes will initially deal with the fundamental notions of “law” and “ legal order”, as well as with the general features of the sources of the law, both from a national and a global perspective. The course will proceed with the analysis of the main features of some contemporary legal systems and of the historical events that contributed to their creation, in a comparative perspective.  The aim and the instruments of comparative law as a science will be explained to the students, so as to introduce them to the methodology that will be applied in some of the second and third years courses. 
In the final part of the course, an introduction will be given to how legal relations between private persons are structured. Voluntarily binding legal relations between specific persons (contracts), involuntary binding legal relations between specific persons (tort), and legal relations between a person and everyone else (property law).   

Comparative Constitutional Law

The course explores the institutional dimension of legal and political orders belonging to the Western legal tradition. The first part of the course examines the definitions of constitution and the processes of constitution-making and constitution-amending in a theoretical and historical perspective. The course then analyses the structure of government by looking at the form of government (parliamentary government, presidentialism, semi-presidentialism) and the territorial allocation of powers (federalism and regionalism). The last part of the course covers the organization of the judiciary and models of organization of judicial review of legislation.

Philosophy of Law

The course will provide a philosophical inquiry into different theoretical issues arising in connection with law, by discussing the nature of law and legal systems, examining the philosophical foundations of law, the relation between law and morality, and the major issues in argumentation theory as identified by the typical legal philosophical method. The course will provide to students the basic tools of critical thinking, by reflecting on the nature of truth in argumentative contexts, and by teaching the difference between valid and invalid – and sound and unsound – arguments.

Roman Foundations of European Law

The course deals with the history of Roman private law from the Twelve Tables (V century B.C.) to Justinian’s Age (6 century A.D.). Roman private law provides students with an understanding of the foundations of the systems of private law of Europe. The study of Roman private law provides an opportunity to achieve a concrete knowledge of the principles which made up the legal systems of the Western legal tradition and beyond.

European Union Law

The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the functioning of the legal framework and institutions of EU law. Students will be trained to assess the relevance of legal arguments with reference to a number of case studies drawn from the case law of European judicial institutions. The course will focus on the institutional framework of the EU, the law-making process and sources of law, judicial protection and the relationship with national legal systems. Finally, the course will briefly describe the role of the EU in the international legal order. The  course will focus on the institutional framework of the EU, its law-making process and sources of law, the judicial protection it offers to states, private parties, and institutional bodies, and its relationship with national legal systems.  Finally, the course will briefly describe the role of the EU in the international legal context.

Foundations of Private Law from a EU Perspective

The course aims to introduce students to the foundational concepts of private law as established in western legal tradition. Focusing on the areas which are most powerfully influenced by the EU Law, the course will provide an introduction to the rules and principles governing private relations within markets and society.

Informatics and Legal Research (Informatics and the Law)

The course aims to provide students with a general knowledge of legal informatics and with some basic computer skills that are particularly necessary for the consultation of legal databases.


Second Year


History of Western Legal Tradition

The course offers students the opportunity to examine Western legal tradition in a broad perspective of comparative legal history, and the opportunity to understand the long process of development that has led to legal problems of our time. The study of law in a historical and comparative perspective provides a rich base for both practice and scholarship in all fields of law.

Introduction to Economics

The course will introduce students to the basic microeconomic principles underlying the analysis of the market economy. The course will show students how different legal settings and institutions determine the working of the market as a coordination mechanism for the allocation of resources. 

International Law

The course aims to grant students a basic understanding of how the law of the international community works, and provide them with an in-depth knowledge of the most important rules and principles governing the international behaviour of States. 

Comparative Private Law

The course analyzes the field of private law within Western legal families through the use of the comparative method. It will analyze both national legal systems (civil law and common law) and supranational law, in particular EU law, as well as some relevant cases of soft law instruments. It will focus on a selection of topics concerning property, torts, and contract law, in order to highlight the relationship among legal formants (statutory, judicial, doctrinal) and between the law in the books and the law in action. This will allow the evaluation of the degree of convergence or divergence among the various legal systems.

Criminal Law

The course will provide students with an introduction to the constitutional principles and the basic concepts of criminal law as addressed from a comparative law perspective. It will also examine the main developments occurred in EU legislation and case law and their impact on Member States’ systems of criminal justice. An introduction to the fundamental principles of international criminal law will be provided in the last part of the course.

Multilevel Protection of Fundamental Rights

The course explores the structure and the techniques of protection of fundamental rights in Europe with an approach combining theoretical insights and empirical analysis. It opens with an overview on the nature and the structure of fundamental rights, and the key issues emerging in their protection. It then goes to the techniques of judicial protection and constitutional interpretation (categorization, proportionality). In the last part, the course situates the protection of fundamental rights in the context of the European Union and the European Convention of Human Rights, addressing a range of challenges concerning the relationship between fundamental rights and market regulation, the margin of appreciation doctrine and the interactions between constitutional, supranational, and international courts.


Third Year


Employment and Labour Law

The course primarily aims to provide students with a general knowledge of the sources of labour law (constitutional provisions, statute laws, collective agreements, and employment contracts). Moreover, the course is intended to analyse and discuss the most important notions and concepts of European Union and International Labour Law, paying particular attention to standards which are considered as fundamental by both systems (e.g. the fight against discrimination in the workplace, the attempt to eradicate child labour and protect young workers, and the recognition of social protection).

Business and Company Law

The course provides an overview on European and international company law. After a general introduction to European law and company law in a comparative perspective, the course investigates the following topics: the freedom of establishment of companies in the EU, the harmonisation programme of European company law, and the European business organizations.

Administrative Law

The course aims introducing the fundamental rules and principles related to public administration and its relationship with private parties.
The principles of administrative action will be examined, in the light of the distinction between discretionary and non-discretionary power.
Moreover, the practical implementation of the general principles will be analyzed, with particular reference to the different steps of administrative procedures and to the basic rules about judicial review, from a supra-national (European and global) and comparative view. In this perspective, the problem of the possible opportunity of codification of EU administrative procedure will be posed.

Transnational Civil Litigation in a Comparative Perspective

While the characteristics of civil disputes are similar in any developed legal system, civil litigation presents significant differences the world over, especially when comparing common and civil law traditions or, better said, US-American system, on the one hand, and all other legal systems, on the other. In the current legal framework, the course on Transnational Civil Litigation aims to offer essential expertise on how to approach and solve cross-border civil litigation in the world-wide judicial area.

Criminal Procedure from a Comparative and International Perspective

The aim of this course is to empower students to acquaint themselves with the fundamental features of criminal proceedings, and the differences and similarities among several European systems of criminal procedure (common law and civil law systems). Particular attention is also paid to trans-national proceedings and international cooperation in criminal matters, from a EU perspective.

One elective course among:

Business and Consumer Transactions

The course aims to provide students with the knowledge of the main legal instruments enabling businesses and consumers to engage in economic transactions in the global markets. Legal issues concerning negotiation, and execution and enforcement of contracts will be addressed from an EU and an international perspective in the areas of business-to-business and business-to-consumer relations, having regard for both conventional and digital schemes of trading.

Conflict of Laws

The aim of the course is to provide a critical understanding of the sources of international private law, the problems posed by their coordination, the principles underlying the interpretation, and the determination of the applicable rules to legal problems that hold connections to more than one State. The course also aims to provide a thorough and a practical knowledge of the main legal instruments in this field at international, European and national level.

Competition Law

The course provides an introduction to the doctrines, public policies, and economic theories that inform competition/antitrust law in the European Union and the United States.


Elective courses

  • Comparative Energy Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law of Groups and Minorities
  • International Economic Law
  • Comparative Information, Communication, and Technology Law
  • Introduction to Asian Law
  • European and Comparative Education Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Justice
  • International Civil Litigation
  • Climate Change and Energy Law
  • Sustainable Development Law
  • Law and Life Sciences

Optional Activities

  • Internship (preferably in international institutions)
  • Legal English and drafting
  • Workshops

Final Exam

Written dissertation

Aggiornato il
14 June 2018