cod. 1012154

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Diritto pubblico comparato (IUS/21)
Discipline storico-giuridiche, internazionalistiche, comparatistiche e politiche
Type of training activity
36 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims first of all to provide methodological tools and theoretical principles concerning legal comparison and its challenges. Moreover, the course aims to provide students with basic knowledge on how core issues related to innovation and food security are regulated in different legal systems. The final objective is to consequently allow students to develop knowledge and skills necessary to carry out comparative legal research and analysis on legislations, policies and case-law in different countries.

Knowledge and understanding:
The course offers theoretical tools concerning the comparative method and how to apply it in the food law field. Moreover, the course provides students with an overview of the issues legislators, Courts and policymakers are asked to face, in different legal systems, in order to ensure food security and sustainability, by also guaranteeing food safety and consumers health as well as by boosting scientific and technological innovation and R&D in the agri-food sector.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
By the end of the course, students should be able to understand and critically analyze, also by applying the comparative method, different legislative solutions but also case-law, policies and academic works in the field of food law, with specific reference to topics related to the impact scientific and technological innovation could produce on food sustainability and food security challenges and issues.

Making judgements and communication:
The course aims to promote the development of student’s skills such as advanced reading, autonomous research, in-depth analysis of a given topic and critical thinking through the participation to discussions and debates; the course also intends to foster the students’ ability to clearly present, explain and motivate their research and analysis, using appropriate legal and technical language. Finally, the course intends to provide students with the ability to compare regulatory choices and models.


Although not compulsory, the attendance at the first module “Agenda 2030 as Global Constitutional Law” as well as at the courses “Food Law and Agriculture EU Policy” and “EU Law for Food Safety, Sustainability and Climate Change” is highly recommended in order to better understand the comparative analysis provided for in the present course.

Course unit content

Module B will first of all focus on the comparative method (in particular, the history and origins of comparative method; the use of comparison; the difference between foreign law and comparison; how and what to compare).
The course will then specifically provide an overview of the main legal challenges concerning, in different legal systems:
i) the promotion and implementation of scientific and technological innovation in the agri-food sector;
ii) the promotion and enforceability of food security policies and regulatory solutions, also aiming at safeguarding sustainability.
In this context, the course will focus, through a comparative analysis concerning different legal systems (EU, extra-EU Countries) on:
- the right to food and food security in a comparative perspective: an analysis of constitutional provision and relevant case-law;

- introductory notions on food regulation and food law main principles in the extra-EU countries (food safety, precautionary principle, role of independent authorities, main federal institutions, food labelling in different selected countries such as UK and USA).

- the legislative framework and policies guaranteeing food sustainability: analysis of selected case studies regarding (but not limited to) the promotion of sustainable consumption choices, food waste, green claims;

- the legislative framework and policies governing innovation and technological and scientific progress in the agri-food sector: introduction to specific case studies (i.e. GMOs, Novel Foods, Crispr) but also main constitutional provisions governing innovation and scientific research. The role of Courts and relevant case-law will also be explored.

Full programme

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The reference material will be provided on the Elly platform. In particular, articles and case-law will be indicated to students as compulsory readings, necessary to take the final exam. Further material attending students should read before interactive lessons or group works will be uploaded on Elly platform during the course.
For an in-depth study of the comparative method, it is also suggested (but not compulsory) to read Chapters 3 (Methods and legal comparison), 4 (Research question and comparative process) and 5 (Comparison between global and phenomena and legal traditions) of the following book:
- R. Scarciglia, Methods and Legal Comparison. Challenges for Methodological Pluralism, Edward Elgar, 2023.

Teaching methods

The course is structured in face-to-face lectures, seminars with the participation of experts and interactive teaching activities. Students are therefore invited to actively participate to different teaching activities provided during the course; in particular:
- Discussion on a specific case study or Court decision: students are required to read in advance (pre-class work) the provided materials, in order to promote a fruitful debate during the lesson.
- Group work on a given topic.
- Produce a brief research essay or policy paper on a given regulatory challenge or issue;
- Classroom presentation;
- Produce brief reports on legislative solutions or policies adopted in different legal systems;
- Discussion on different reports by employing a comparative method aimed at assessing best practices and efficient solutions.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam based on open questions. For attending-students, the Module final grade will be determined by also considering the activities developed throughout the course (in particular, group work, classroom presentation and research essay). Detailed instructions will be provided in class.
Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the topics presented during the course and of the basic theoretical concepts of the comparative method. Students will also be tested on their capacity to examine and discuss case studies and case-law as well as on their ability to engage in independent thinking and personal considerations.
Attending-students will also be assessed considering their contribution to class debate, their ability to autonomously study and develop critical evaluations on a specific topic as well as their capability to present the results of their research.

Other information

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