Comparative Legal Systems


The course is an introduction to comparative law. It explains the methodology of comparative legal research, its aims, and the main characteristics of two of the main legal systems: civil law and common law systems. Students will learn to apply the principles of comparative law in practice through the analysis of some of the key elements of comparative private law and constitutional law.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nausica Palazzo, Claire Bright


Weekly - 3

Total - 36

Teaching language



Not Applicable


All the materials uploaded in Moodle

Uwe Kischel. Comparative Law. Oxford University Press, 2019, available as e-book in the library

Geoffrey Samuel, An Introduction to Comparative Law Theory and Method,Hart Publishing Ltd, 2014.

Teaching method

Classes will be taught in an interactive manner where students will be invited to actively engage in the classes. Oral teaching will be reinforced by additional materials such as power point slides which will be uploaded onto the online virtual learning environment. Practical exercises will also be designed in order to help students make a bridge between theory and practice.

Evaluation method

Students can choose whether to opt for the continuous assessment or sit the final exam. 

1.  Continuous assessment 

i. Multiple-choice test (90% of the final grade) (up to 18 points), to be held on the last day of class. The test covers the content of the course (except for the content of the last class) and is worth 90% of the final grade. 

The test lasts 60 minutes and has 30 multiple-choice questions with four potential answers one of which is correct, and 6 true/false questions. Each question is worth 0,5 points. There is no penalization for wrong answers. 

The material to study for purposes of the continuous assessment includes the prior readings (PR) + class notes. The test is not open book. Only the material covered in class will be assessed during this exam.

ii. Class participation: maximum + 2 points to the final grade of the continuous assessment (up to a maximum of 20/20). Active and constructive participation in class is worth up to 2 extra points on the grade of the continuous assessment and is conferred at the discretion of the instructor at the end of the course (when students receive the grade of the multiple-choice exam).


2. Final exam (two-hour exam): written essay up to four pages on a topic covered in class. The material to study is included above under Reference list on Moodle.

The final exam can only be taken in English. It covers the whole list of material included in the reference list presented on Moodle. The final exam lasts two hours and will contain a question that allows the student to connect the material studied. The essay should be up two pages and must be written in EnglishThe exam is not open book, and the study material cannot be consulted during the exam. While the candidate must demonstrate critical attitude by presenting her or his opinion on a certain matter, the candidate must also refer to the material included in the reference list to demonstrate that opinions have been developed upon and throughout her/his study of the material. 


Subject matter

I. Introduction

II. Comparative Legal Methodology

III. Key elements of Comparative Private Law

IV. Key elements of Comparative Constitutional Law

V. Conclusion


Programs where the course is taught: