Department of Excellence - MIUR

The Department of Legal Studies (DSG) was recognised as one of Italy's Departments of Excellence and received extraordinary funding from the Ministry of Education and University of €8,100,000 for a five-year development project that was among the 180 winners at a national level and among the 15 in Area 12 CUN.

The project and its objectives

The main objective of the project pursued by the DSG is to use education and research to promote a new figure of jurist, no longer focused only on the national scope and traditional legal professions, but able to:

  1. Interact both with traditional sources and systems at a national level and with the new supranational and transnational legal forms driven by globalisation.
  2. Maintain the traditional technical tools of hermeneutics firmly in place, reconciling them with new problem-based, casuistic methodologies inspired by the empirical method.
  3. Place one's own right in dialogue with other rights, even those not belonging to the Western legal tradition.
  4. Combine a precise technical knowledge of law with a firm awareness of philosophical and historical topics, but also scientific and technological context, which form the inescapable background.

The aim is to educate a jurist whose occupational dimension is not only European but global, not only bound to classical institutional roles but flexible, open to a wider range of social needs, thus creating a "model" of new legal education but consistent with the recognised Bolognese tradition.
With regard to education and research, it is mainly a question of knowing how to understand the interaction between national, supranational and transnational sources of law in all its aspects.

Actions

Teaching and research: internationalisation and interdisciplinarity

The overall development objective for the future of the DSG is therefore firmly geared towards the increasingly pronounced internationalisation and interdisciplinary nature of teaching and research. This results in the following specific objectives

  1. To implement a comprehensive didactic policy that is able to attract more foreign students, both to encourage the contact of Italian students with peers from an international context, and to disseminate even in a supranational context the model of jurist that is proposed here, as well as the Italian method applied to legal study.
  2. To provide didactics and research with an international and interdisciplinary orientation in line with the ERC development lines and the relevant sectors for law: (SH2_1) Political systems, governance; (SH2_2) Democratisation and social movements; (SH2_4) Legal studies, constitutions, human rights, comparative law; (SH2_5) International relations, global and transnational governance; (SH2_12) GIS, spatial analysis; big data in political, geographical and legal studies. These are more interdisciplinary directions than classical legal training, with a view to offering the lawyer of the Bolognese school both a solid technical knowledge of law and the tools to understand in a problematic way the evolution taking place on theoretical-philosophical, historical, technological and economic levels.
  3. To strengthen competitive research in Europe, enhancing the multidisciplinary character of the DSG and encouraging partnerships with other departments of the University. This objective plays a crucial role in the context of a virtuous circle between interdisciplinary international research and the teaching inspired by it. It is now clear that interdisciplinary management is a sine qua non condition for strengthening competitive research of a legal nature, otherwise there is the risk of playing a marginal and accessory role with respect to policy-making research related to empirical studies. In contrast, research where the legal problem is supplemented by other disciplines promises to have a greater impact in the development of policies integrated in a coherent constitutional framework, thus finding a basis that is not only factual but also normative. This new positioning of legal research is then reflected in the curriculum: the jurist trained in this perspective will be able to fit into different social contexts, developing rules that have a satisfactory level of effectiveness and are also consistent with the constitutional and regulatory framework outlined at all levels.
  4. To invest in young researchers with the objectives of further developing the traditional approach of legal studies and greater international mobility, thus allowing an even greater exchange of products and research methods between the DSG and the international academic scene.

Third mission

The education of a professional lawyer who is more internationally oriented and interdisciplinary, and therefore more able to dialogue with different social contexts, even in an international dimension, and with a critical perspective, is in itself an objective with a significant impact on the educational policies and their application and interpretation, both at the legislative level and with respect to the interaction between citizens and institutions. This is also in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular with the fourth (Quality Education), the tenth (Reduced Inequalities) and the sixteenth (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions). This is not only a long-term impact. This educational and research approach will be reflected in professional training (i.e. the training of active lawyers) as well as in consulting at all institutional levels. These are areas where the DSG already has a considerable impact, which we intend to further strengthen.

Logistics

A portion of the project funds is earmarked for upgrading infrastructure. In coordination with the University, it will contribute to the renovation of the building located in Via Zamboni 22, enhancing the accessibility and hospitality of research and education. The equipment in the current classrooms (now obsolete) will be modernised. In addition to the activities that already take place, the spaces can be used for moot courts using special equipment to reproduce a courtroom. The upgrade will also involve the IT infrastructure (to enhance the international visibility of the DSG website)..

The calendar

2018-2019

  • Recruitment of 2 RTD-Bs, 4 Associate Professors and 2 technical and administrative staff.
  • Expansion of the curriculum in English and launch of the Master's Degree in Legal Studies.
  • Strengthening of legal clinics and launch of the project relating to participation in moot courts.
  • Organisation of 4 doctoral workshops.
  • Funding of 12 research grants, 5 doctoral fellowships and 8 visiting fellowships.
  • Activation of programmes for the internationalisation of research products and conferences, development of skills for research.

2020-2022

  • Further strengthening of legal clinics and participation in 2 international moot courts.
  • Organisation of 6 doctoral workshops.
  • Funding of 12 research grants, 7 doctoral fellowships and 12 visiting fellowships.
  • Further consolidation of programmes for the internationalisation of research products and conferences, development of research skills.

The entire five-year period will be used for infrastructure works.

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