Dr. Stefania Gialdroni on Law and Architecture

Dear students,
next week’s classes will be devoted to the meaning and function of the Italian Court of Cassation’s building, better known to the people of Rome as “il Palazzaccio”. Remember that, on April 30th, we are going to visit the court together.

Temple of Justice or “Palazzaccio”? Giuseppe Zanardelli’s Idea of Justice in Unified Italy

Terry Rossi Kirk, The Politicization of the Landscape of Roma Capitale and the Symbolic Role of the Palazzo di Giustizia, in “Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome: Italie et Méditerranée”, 109.1 (2006), pp. 89-114.

An incredible body of images on legal iconography from the Yale Law Library’s rare book collection

Dear all,

I would like to drow your attention on this absolutely amazing collection of images on legal iconography by Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian & Lecturer in Legal Research at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.


All the images come from printed books in the Yale Law Library’s rare book collection. They include over 400 images of Lady Justice, 138 images of legal trees, 132 images of court scenes, and suites of images from illustrated law books such as Ulrich Tengler’s Layenspiegel (1514), the 1508 and 1580 editions of the Bambergensis, Gobler’s Rechtenspiegel (1558), the Coutumes d’Artois (1756), Justinian’s Institutes (1514), and Damhoudere’s Enchiridion Rerum Criminalium (1554).




Condello, Menzinger & Gialdroni on Law & Literature

Dear all,

the next three classes will be devoted to the field of “Law and Literature”. As you can see, the topics will be very heterogeneous!

Dante Illuminating Florence with his Poemk, by Domenico di Michelino

25  March: 
Dr. Angela Condello on  Law & Exemplarity

26 March: Prof. Sara Menzinger (RomaTre University) on Law & Dante: “Dante, the Bible and the Law: a theological-juridical contribution to the Political Debate of 14th century”

27 March: Dr. Stefania Gialdroni on Law & Shakespeare: “Shakespeare in Law:The Merchant of Venice as a Mirror of Legal Issues”



Menzinger, Sara, Dante and the law,  (Forthcoming In Dante in Context, edited by Lino Pertile and Zygmund Baranski, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press);

TEXTS used during the lesson available HERE: Dante and the Law class Texts

Kornstein, D.J.,  Fie Upon your Law!, in “Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature”, 5.1 (1993): A Symposium Issue on “The Merchant of Venice”, pp. 35-56.


These readings will NOT be sent via email:

– Steinberg, Justin, Dante and the Limits of the Law, Chicago 2013 (book);

– Quaglioni, Diego, “Arte di bene e d’equitade”.Ancora sul senso del diritto in Dante (Monarchia, II v 1), in “Studi Danteschi”, 76 (2011), pp. 27-46;Monarchia, ed. by D. Quaglioni, in Dante Alighieri, Opere, ed. M. Santagata, vol. II, Milano, Mondadori («I Meridiani»), 2014;
– Tierney, Brian, Religion, Law and the Growth of Constitutional Thought. 1150-1650, Cambridge 1982 (book). 
This reading has been sent via email:
– Gialdroni, Stefania, La clausola penale tra finzione e realtà. Il caso limite di Shylock alla prova del diritto veneziano, del diritto comune e del common law, in La pena convenzionale nella prospettiva storico-comparatistica (Collana del centro di eccellenza in diritto europeo – G. Pugliese), Napoli: Jovene, 2013.
Prof. Menzinger’s CV available HERE

New exercise on Law and Narrativity

Dear students,

prof. Conte suggested a couple of challanging exercises. Some of you could try to apply the idea of narrative NOT to national identity or similar things, but to single legal institutions, using the following texts, avalable in our library, which are also translated in Italian:

Foegen, M.-T., Roemische Rechtsgeschichten: ueber Ursprung und Evolution eines sozialen Systems, Goettingen 2003 [It. translation “Storie di diritto romano”, a cura di A. Mazzacane]

Also a link between narrative and private law can be found in “Der Kampf um’s Recht” [“La lotta per il diritto”/”The Struggle for the Right”] a real “classic” by R. Jhering, with reference to Kleist’s Novel “Michael Kohlhaas”.

Let’s try!

Prof. Rebecca Spitzmiller (RomaTre University) and Dr. Stefania Gialdroni on Law & Language (applied)

Dear students,download

the next three classes will be devoted to the analysis of the “Language of the Law” from two different perspectives. The first class will propose a linguistic analysis of legal texts, taking as an example the Italian Constitution (Gialdroni). The other two classes will face the problem of legal texts focusing on the challange of translation, providing lots of examples and little exercises (Spitzmiller).


– The reading about the “Language of the Italian Constitution” is unfortunately written in Italian. Anyway, as there is no comparable article related to this issue, it is suggested even though not compulsory.

Prof. Spitzmiller asks you to read and do the exercises from “Legal English” by Maria Gigliola di Renzo Villata before the lessons. This text was prepared for Italian speakers but it should also be useful for visiting Erasmus and other international students since we assume they are also studying in some Italian law courses and thus learning legal Italian. This reading will make aware of some common mistakes and point out some “false friends” between English and Italian.  For non mother-tongue Italian speakers, in the exercises that compare English and Italian terms they might do well to try and translate both into their own language, to see which friends are “true friends” in their native tongues.

– The other two articles, “Exploring Students’ Engagement…” and the Jessup article, both regard language-learning based on two initiatives at Roma Tre, one of which the students in Law and the Humanities are now participating: “Studying Law at Roma Tre.” The other is the Jessup international moot court competition, a very challenging yearly endeavor in which Roma Tre has participated for about ten years now. These two articles could provide an opportunity to reflect on the very processes by which students learn a foreign legal language and could form the basis of general discussion on that topic.

De Mauro, Tullio, Il linguaggio della Costituzione, in «Costituzione della Repubblica italiana (1947)»,  Torino-Roma 2006, pp. VII-XXXII.

Di Renzo Villata, Maria Gigliola (ed. by), Legal English, Assago: Cedam 2011 (2007), pp. 51-64.

Walbaum Robinson, Isabel Alice and Spiztmiller, Rebecca, Exploring students’ engagement with the curriculum in a law programme taught in English at an Italian University, pp. 1-13.

Spitzmiller, Rebecca, THE PHILLIP C JESSUP INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT COMPETITION: A TOOL FOR TEACHING/LEARNING LEGAL ENGLISH, in “European Journal of Legal Education”, 3.2 (2006), pp. 111-119.

Prof. Spiztmiller CV

Lawyer, Professor (Agg.) in Comparative Law at Università degli studi Roma Tre; Adjunct Professor (Co-Instructor) LUISS University School of Management; Instructor of Legal English for the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura and for the Scuola Superiore dell’Avvocatura; Author, Editor & Translator (Italian to English); Member of the Florida Bar Association.

The full version of Prof. Spitzmiller’s CV is available HERE.

Prof. Mara Santi (University of Ghent) on Law & Literature

Dear students,

this week’s classes will be devoted to the topic of Law & Literature. Prof. Mara Santi, Associate Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Ghent, will be our first guest speaker.

Titles of the lectures:

March 11th: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… – Law and Literature in the Mirror of Interdisciplinarity
March 12th: …and they lived happily ever after – Narration and Narrativity between Law and Literature
March 13th:  “la giustizzia: na macchina! No strazzio, la giustizzia – Literary case studies


J. Stone Peters, Law, Literature and the Vanishing Real: on the Future of an Interdisciplinary Illusion, in PMLA,120.2 (2005), 442-452.

A. Gearey, Law and Narrative, in “Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory”, London and New York 2006, 271-275.

J.D. Velleman, Narrative Explanation, in “The Philosophical Review”, 112.1 (2003), 1- 25.

You can read Prof. Santi’s CV here: CV_MS_ENG

A little exercise

Dear students,

on the basis of what we have discussed in class today, Prof. Conte suggested to ask you to give examples of “stories” which can be considered relevant from a legal point of view and that have been “told” in different ways in the course of time, in order to mirror different legal perspectives. Usually those stories are related to the fields of constitutional law, international law and human rights (which are related to both the above mentioned fields).

Examples: The Trojan War between the Greeks and the Trojans as it is told by Homer or Virgil or the story of the conquest of America.

Law & the Humanities: Introduction (Prof. E. Conte, Dr. A. Condello and Dr. S. Gialdroni)

Dear students,

as you know, the 2015 “Law and the Humanities” course will begin on March 4th. Wednesday’s class will take place at 2:00 PM while on Thursday and Friday our class will begin at 10:00 AM. These first three lectures will be given by the organizers of the course, whose CV you can find on this very website (click HERE to read the CVs).

Abstractdownload (1)

The class will provide an introduction to the “Law and the Humanities”movement and to this course in particular. After prof. Conte’s overview, Dr. Condello will reconstruct the evolution of the discipline from James Boyd White’s “The Legal Imagination” (1973) up to the most recent developments. In particular, she will discuss the process that led from “Law and Literature” to “Law and the Humanities”. Dr. Gialdroni will support her lectures with questions and comments.


Each week we will give you a list of readings as the peculiar structure of this course doesn’t allow us to suggest a single handbook. We will inform you about the details of this methodology during the first class. In the meanwhile, you can have a look at the list of readings of the first week. See you soon!

1) J. B. White, The Legal Imagination: Studies in the Nature of Legal Thought and Expression. Boston: Little, Brown, 1973 (extracts)

2) R. West, Communities, Texts and Law: Reflections on the Law and Literature Movement. 1 Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, 129 (1988) (extracts)

2) A. Sarat (and others), Law and the Humanities. An Introduction. Cambridge: CUP, 2014 (extracts).