cod. 03472

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Annual
Academic discipline
Diritto penale (IUS/17)
Type of training activity
80 hours
of face-to-face activities
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course goal is to give the students the fundamental notions pertaining the general part of the Criminal law and, consequently, to help them build the foundations for a deeper understanding of the others Criminal law-related subjects. At the end of the training activity, the student should have acquired knowledge and skills related to the main issues of the general part of criminal law. In particular, it is expected that the student will be able to:
1. know the legal rules contained in the Penal Code, First Book, “On Crimes in General”; understand and remember both the basic definitions and the concepts; apply the systematic method of analysis of the crime (knowledge and understanding skills);
2. apply the interpretations acquired to simple concrete cases (ability to apply knowledge and comprehension);
3. know how to analyze elementary cases through the process of interpretation of the fact and its legal qualification (autonomy of judgment);
4. know to expose brief conclusions of your own concrete case analysis, providing adequate reasons (communicative abilities);
5. know how make connections and to evaluate alternative solutions to the concrete cases considered (learning ability).


To be allowed to enroll in the Criminal Law I (Diritto penale I) examination, students must have successfully passed Principles of Private Law (Istituzioni di diritto privato), Principles of Roman Law (Istituzioni di diritto romano) and Constitutional Law (Diritto costituzionale).
Criminal Law I (Diritto penale I) must be passed to enroll in the courses of Criminal Law II (Diritto penale II) and Criminal Procedure (Procedura penale) as well as the other courses comprehended in the scientific-educational categories IUS/16, IUS/17 e MED/43.

Course unit content

The course focuses on the concepts pertaining the general part of criminal law, with particular reference to: (i) the chapters concerned with the Code general provisions and the so-called “theory of the offense” (teoria del reato); (ii) historical roots, purposes and constitutional principles in criminal matters (legality principle, principle of nullum crimen sine culpa; principle of nullum crimen sine iniuria).
Specific attention will be reserved to the study of objective and subjective elements of the crime (actus reus and mens rea), causation theories, justifications and excuses.
During the course will also be analyzed circumstances, attempt, conspiracy, aid and abet, concurrence of offences, substantive principle of ne bis in idem.
Finally, will be explained criminal penalties, security measures, confiscations.
The course will also cover some practical cases, so as to show how the general concepts found in the general part of the Code relates to their application in practice.

Full programme

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A. CADOPPI, P. VENEZIANI, Elementi di diritto penale, Parte generale, last edition.
Only for non-attending students, also: P. VENEZIANI, La punibilità. Le conseguenze giuridiche del reato, vol. III, II, of Trattato di diritto penale, directed by C.F. GROSSO, T. PADOVANI, A. PAGLIARO, Milan, Giuffrè, 2014, chapters I, III and VI only.
All students should use an updated Penal Code, like, for example, L. ALIBRANDI (a cura di), Codice penale e leggi complementari, Piacenza, Casa editrice La Tribuna, last edition available.

Teaching methods

In addition to the traditional lectures, seminars and practical exercises will be organized (with the help of tutors), in which recent cases will be analyzed.
The teaching activities will be carried out in person or remotely through the Teams platform, in streaming and, in any case, according to the methods indicated by the University.
The Teams platform guide is available at:

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination consists of an oral interview, comprehensive of at least three questions, with reference to the suggested texts and the topics indicated. Its goal is to understand whether the student has knowledge of the subject, the level of comprehension of the student and his ability to make connections between different topics. The exam also evaluates the ability of the student to communicate with a proper legal language.
The vote (vote in thirty) is communicated immediately at the end of the test itself. No in itinere tests (assessments) and exams are planned.
In the persistence of the health emergency and depending on its evolution, the exam may take place either in mixed mode (i.e. in presence, but with the possibility for students who make a specific request to the Professor to take the oral examination remotely), or only online for all the students (remotely). The choice of the examination method, between the two indicated, will be promptly communicated through the Esse3 platform, in advance of the exam date.
The exam that must be taken remotely will eventually be carried out through the Teams platform (for which the guide is available at: In this case, students may be required to show an identity document at the beginning of the interview, via webcam (possibly covering any sensitive data not relevant for the purpose of taking the exam).
Students with SLD/SEN are invited to report their needs privately, by institutional e-mail to the teacher, well in advance of the exam session.

Other information

Only students who will attend at least 70% of lectures will be considered attending students.
The students should carry an updated Penal Code at all classes, seminars, and practical exercises.