Student authentication

Is it the first time you are entering this system?
Use the following link to activate your id and create your password.
»  Create / Recover Password



Learning Objectives

The course deals with (i) the historical and theoretical foundations of fundamental rights in the national and supranational arena, (ii) their legal structures, and (iii) the main contemporary challenges in a comparative law approach.

Due to the increasing relevance of the judiciary branch in the adjudication of fundamental rights, the course will focus on the Courts (constitutional, supreme, supranational), and their role in the protection of fundamental rights, both in national as well as in supranational scenario. Then, substantive issues related to the protection to fundamental rights in contemporary years will be analyzed.


Students must own a basic knowledge of constitutional and public international law. For this
preliminary study, see A. Buratti, Western Constitutionalism, Springer-Giappichelli, 3 th ed.,


Section 1 Theoretical issues in fundamental rights discourse. Universalism and particularism in the concept of fundamental rights

Section 2 Fundamental rights in the European tradition: Constitutional Settings. The Emergence of the notion of human dignity. Balancing fundamental rights

Section 3 Fundamental rights in the American tradition: Due process, equal protection. From Roe v. Wade to Dobbs

Section 4 Fundamental rights in the digital ecosystem

Section 5 The international protection of human rights
a) The UN system
b) International criminal justice
c) The regional systems

Section 6 The European supranational scenario
a) The ECHR system
b) EU’s protection of fundamental rights





A) Fundamental Rights in European Constitutions:
In order to study this section, student has to refresh his/her knowledge on post WW2 European constitutionalism. A useful tool is A. Buratti, Western Constitutionalism, Springer, with special attention to Chapter 6 and 7: (i) fundamental rights issues and (ii) constitututional review, both in national constitutions as well as in European Constitutional Space.

Compulsory Readings:
- C. McCrudden, Human Dignity and Judicial Interpretation of Human Rights, http://ejil.org/pdfs/19/4/1658.pdf
- Discussion on the case of ICC, on voluntary prostitution: https://www.cortecostituzionale.it/documenti/download/doc/recent_judgments/Sentenza_n_141_del_2019_eng_red_Modugno.pdf
- Discussion on the case of BVG, assisted suicide: https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Entscheidungen/EN/2020/02/rs20200226_2bvr234715en.html;jsessionid=8FB596950A43ECC953B1C83AED3A0123.1_cid507

B) International Criminal Justice:
In order to study this section, it is necessary to own a good knowledge on (i) origins, (ii) jurisdiction, and (iii) competences of the International Criminal Court of the Hague. Students can visit the ICC’s website to obtain such information.

Compulsory readings:
- Tomushat, The Legacy of Nuremberg
- Jessberger – Geneuss, The Many Faces of the International Criminal Court

C) European Convention on Human Rights
In order to study this section, student finds introductory explanation on the ECHR in A. Buratti, Western Constitutionalism, Springer, Chapter 7.

Compulsory readings:
- Repetto (ed.), The Constitutional Relevance of the ECHR in Domestic and European Law. An Italian Perspective, Intersentia
- Discussion on the Lautsi II (Grand Chamber) case: find it at https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-104040

Teaching methods

method. This method will require students to prepare classes well in advance, through the compulsory reading of the materials pointed out by the professor. The students will interact with the professor and among themselves through presentations and questions/answers during the lectures.

Exam Rules

Assessment methodology depends on whether the student is an “attending student” or a “non-attending student”. An “attending student” is a student who (i) is present at least to 80% of classes, and (ii) complies with assignments.

For Attending students:
The final assessment will be based on a written final exam on topics covered in class.

For Non-Attending students:
An oral final exam will be held, covering the whole program, on the reading materials communicated by the Professor.