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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Dear all,
here you can find all information about the next classes on legal icongraphy. Prof. Musson, a legal historian from Exeter University, is an expert of the field and will explain us the importance and the power of immages in the legal world.

Abstract of the 3 lectures

1. Legal Iconography: aims and sources
This lecture will consider what legal iconography is and why it is relevant to an understanding of law. It will also examine through illustrations (taken mainly from the medieval period) the different types of sources for studying images of law and justice.

2. Legal Iconography: justice in action
This lecture will explore the portrayal of particular judicial themes through visual images and their historical interpretation. It will concentrate on images of legal authority, justice and punishment and demonstrate the power of image to convey concepts of law and experiences of the legal system.

3. Legal Iconography: possibilities and limitations
This lecture will reveal the benefits of using visual sources for an understanding of the historical practice of law and the workings of the judicial system. It will also highlight some of the drawbacks of reliance on a creative artistic medium.

- A. Musson, Ruling "virtually"? Royal Images in Medieval English Law Books, in Melville C.,Mitchell L. (eds), Every Inch a King: Comparative Studies on Kings and Kingship in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, Brill, 2012.

- A. Musson, Visual Sources: Mirror of Justice or 'Through a Glass Darkly', in Musson A.,Stebbings C. (eds), Making Legal History: Approaches and Methods, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Anthony Musson's CV
Professor Anthony Musson is Professor of Legal History in the School of Law at the University of Exeter and Director of the Bracton Centre for Legal History Research. He was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London (2003-6) and is a Barrister of the Middle Temple. He researches in the field of medieval criminal justice and legal culture and has published extensively in these fields including (with W. M. Ormrod) The Evolution of English Justice (Palgrave McMillan, 1999), Medieval Law in Context (Manchester University Press, 2001) and (with E. Powell) Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages (Manchester University Press, 2009). Recent funded projects have enabled him to pursue research into legal iconography (British Academy, 2002-5, 2007) and the private lives of medieval and early Tudor lawyers (UK Economic and Social Research Council, 2007-9). Making Legal History (edited by Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings), the first volume to explore approaches and methodologies in legal history was published by Cambridge University Press in January 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Dear all,
tomorrow and the day after tomorrow we are going finally to focus on one of the cornerstones of the Law & Literature studies: Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice". Our approach will be a Law IN Literature one, with particular reference to the limits of the liberty of contract and the relationship between law and equity. Tomorrow we will mainly read the text together (after having organized the Midterm exam) and on Friday we will deepen the above mentioned topics. If you can, just have a look at the plot in order to better understand the play. For Friday, I expect you to read Kornstein's article.

- The Merchant of Venice, Act IV
D.J. Kornstein, 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

Stefania Gialdroni's CV:
Stefania Gialdroni holds a PhD in legal history both from the University of Milano-Bicocca and the EHESS in Paris. She took part to the “European Doctorate in history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of legal cultures in Europe” from 2009 to 2011. After one year spent at the London School of Economics, she spent the second and third year of the European Doctorate at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She received several scholarships from the Max-Planck Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte in Frankfurt am Main, where she attended the International Max-Planck Research School for Comparative Legal History. She has been organizing the Law & the Humanities course at the Roma3 Univerity under the direction of prof. Emanuele Conte since 2008. In 2003 she graduated from the University of Rome Tre, Law Faculty.
In 2011 she published the book: "East India Company. Una storia giuridica (1600-1708), Bologna: Il Mulino.

Cesare deve morire!

Dear all,
this post is just to suggest you a movie which is now in cinemas: "Cesare deve morire" (great title) directed by the brothers Taviani. There is a lot inside which can interest us: Law and Literature (Shakepseare's Julius Cesar), Law and Cinema, Prison and Dignity.... I warmly reccomend to watch it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Dear all,
the focus on Law and Literature will continue next week with the analysis of Dante's "Divina Commedia". Prof. Justin Steinberg (University of Chicago, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures) will give us the opportunity to look at this masterpiece from a new point of view. In order to fully enjoy the lecture you should read BEFORE the class on March 21st the following parts of the INFERNO. You have to study entirely only the "canto" 21.

To sum up:
16 (124-136)
22 (1-30)
The title of the lecture is:
Dante's Commedia as a nudum pactum: Contract law and the crisis of literary genre

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Dear all, tomorrow you must bring Lipsius' text in order to understand the lecture . Don't forget it!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just a tip

Dear all,

in a book written by prof. Marco Ruotolo (Dignità e carcere, Napoli, 2011), I've found a little quotation that let me think about what we have said about the "Law as empathy" strand, even if it refers especially to cinema, and I would like to share it with you:

Il cinema "favorendo il pieno uso della nostra soggettività mediante la proiezione e l'identificazione, fa sì che simpatizziamo e comprendiamo coloro che ci sarebbero estranei o antipatici nella vita di tutti i giorni. Chi ha ripugnanza per il vagabondo incontrato per strada, al cinema simpatizza di tutto cuore con il vagabondo Charlot. Mentre nella vita quotidiana siamo quasi indifferenti alle miserie fisiche e morali, nel leggere un romanzo o nel vedere un film proviamo compassione o commierazione" (da: E. Morin, I sette saperi necessari all'educazione del futuro, Milano, 1999 (2001), 106).


This seminary invites students to investigate the origins of ‘Law & Humanities’ in Renaissance humanism. This variegated movement started among professional jurists on the Italian peninsular who were fascinated by the culture of Antiquity, the beauty of the pristine language of the Romans, and the classical ideal of the virtuous and learned citizen. Soon, jurists across Europe would try to imitate this inspiring model of the uomo universale, thereby laying the foundations of legal history, law and literature, and the study of the larger political and sociological context in which the law operates.

The first lesson will give students an overview of some important characteristics of legal humanism, starting with renowned humanists like Petrarca and gradually moving towards the reception of Italian humanism in France with jurists like Budé. These humanist lawyers’ passion for literature and history will be highlighted, as well as their ambiguous relationship with traditional legal education.

- P. Stein, Legal Humanism and Legal Science, in "Tijdschrift voor rechtsgeschiedenis", 54 (1986), p. 297-306

In the second lesson students will have the chance to read love poetry by the Italian humanist Giovanni G. Pontano and fragments of a novel on Cupid the Jurist by Étienne Forcadel, a law professor from Toulouse. In both instances, it will be shown how the humanist jurists mixed their passion for classical literature with their knowledge of Roman and canon law.

- G. G. Pontano (1429-1503), Eridanus 1.9
- E. Forcadel (1519-1578), Cupido Jurisperitus, cap. 2-3
- W. Decock, Law on Love's Stage: Étienne Forcadel's (c.1519-1578) Cupido Jurisperitus, in Draganova V., Kroll S., Landerer H., Meyer U. (Eds.), Inszenierung des Rechts / Law on Stage, München, Martin Meidenbauer, 2011, p. 17-36

3. LYING AND POLITICS IN LEGAL HUMANISMThe third lesson will concentrate on the humanists’ concern with politics and reason of state (raggione di stato). Through the reading of fragments taken from the book On Politics written by Justus Lipsius we will see how the humanists tried to come to terms with the political views that had been developed by Machiavelli. We will address such questions as whether lying and deceit are allowed in politics.

- J. Lipsius, Politica. Six books of politics or political instruction. Edited with translation and introduction by Jan Waszink, Assen 2004, p. 84-104 and p. 507-533 (odd pages)

WIM DECOCK'S CVWim Decock (°1983) graduated as a classicist at the Catholic University of Leuven (MA summa cum laude, 2005). He went on to participate in an interdisciplinary research project on European Legal Cultures, financed by the European Commission (6th Framework Program).
As a Marie Curie Early Stage Training Fellow he worked at the Max Planck Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte in Frankfurt am Main (2006-2007), the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane in Florence (2007-2008), and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (2008-2009) in Paris. He was also granted a scholarship at the Academia Belgica in Rome (2007). During the spring term 2011 he was accepted as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School, for which he was granted a travel grant from the FWO.
He is currently a fellow of the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO). On 8 December 2011 he received his PhD in Law from the University of Leuven and the degree of 'Dottore di ricerca in diritto europeo su base storico-comparatistica' from the Università degli Studi Roma Tre. In his dissertation, Wim investigated the historical foundations of modern contract law ('Theologians and Contract Law, The Moral Transformation of the Ius Commune, ca. 1500-1650).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Usa/Italy Comparison

These are the 3 questions asked by prof. Skeel at the end of his classes. You can try to answer here!

1) How does Italian legal education and practice differ?
2) What implications for the future of law and humanities?
3) Amanda Knox trial in law-literature perspective?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Are you looking for an English-Italian speaking partner?

Dear all,
if you would like to improve your English and meet new friends you could try a tandem speaking. The Arcadia University (Philadelphia) Rome Center has a program for American students in Rome. They are learning Italian for one Semester and maybe it could be a nice idea to meet some of them in order to have a chat in English and help them to understand some Italian. You can ask directly in the Arcadia new office in Via Giulio Rocco 41 (near Libreria Le Storie). Sarra Chadi will answer your questions.

Competition: The most beautiful judicial opinon

Dear all,
as prof. Conte suggested, I am writing this post in order to give you the opportunity to quote on the blog the most intersting judicial opinions according to a "law as literature" point of view. You can ask your professors, collegues and friends and try to find a judgement that reflects one or more qualities discussed during the class (e.g. in the opinion both parties are taken into account according to J. Boyd White's standards, or the writing has a powerful rethoric, etc.). You can quote also using other languages. In this case try at least to describe the writing a bit.Let's start!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Interested in a Dual Degree and a Semester Abroad in Florida?

An information session will be given next week by Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Law Center Prof. Catherine Arcabascio,Associate Dean for International Programs on the Roma Tre/NSU Dual Degree and Semester Abroad.
It will be held next Wednesday, March 14, from 12:00-13:45 in Room 6.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Dear sudents,
next Wednesday Prof. David Skeel (University of Pennsylvania Law School), will begin his week of lessons on the most important strand of the Law and the Humanities movement: Law and Literature. Don't forget that the class will start at 2:00 pm on Wednesday and at 10:00 am on Thursday and Friday.
See you soon

Brief Outline:
In this class, we will briefly explore the history of law and literature scholarship in the United States, and consider the prospects of this movement for the future. We will focus in particular on three recent strands of law and literature scholarship, which are often referred to as 1) law as language (associated with James Boyd White); 2) literature as empathy (associated with Robin West and Martha Nussbaum) and 3) law and narrative (associated with Patricia Williams).

Suggested Readings:
- D.A. Skeel, Lawrence Joseph and Law and Literature, in "University of Cincinnati Law Review", 77.3 (2009), pp. 921-939.

Prof. David Skeel's CV:
David A. Skeel is currently the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (2004-), after having been Associate Professor of Law at the Temple University School of Law (1993- 1998) and Professor of Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School (1999- 2003) .
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (B.A. 1983) and the University of Virginia (J.D. 1987). His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Kansas Quarterly and elsewhere. He has written on law and literature or related issues for Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Legal Affairs, Wallace Stevens Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications; and he served as an advisory editor of Boulevard in the 1990s.
He also is the author of two books:
- Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From (Oxford U. Press, 2005)
- Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton University Press, 2001) .
In 1999 & 2002 he received the Harvey Levin Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 2004 the Lindback Award (university-wide “Great Teacher” award).

For a complete overview on Prof. Skeel’s CV and his extensive list of publications see:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Last Tango in Paris" 40 years later between art and criminal law

Dear all,
you are all warmly invited to the lecture organized by Antonella Massari, Mario Trapani and Giulio Luciani in the framework of the International Doctoral School "Tullio Ascarelli" on Cinema and Censorship. The exact title of the conference, which will take place on Tuesday 13th March 2012 in the AULA MAGNA of the RomaTre University (Via Ostiense 159) at 3:30 pm is:


This kind of topic is surely very interesting for all law students but it really fits in our Law and the Humanities program. Director Bernardo Bertolucci has been invited and we are waiting for his reply. Anyway, the schedule of the conference is really amazing and it is open to all people interested.

La problematica dell'"osceno" nel diritto penale
Giulio Luciani
Dottorando di ricerca in Diritto penale - Università degli Studi "Roma Tre"

Antonella Massaro
Ricercatore confermato di Diritto penale - Università degli Studi "Roma Tre"

L'opera cinematografica "oscena" e il caso "Ultimo tango a Parigi"
Luigi di Majo
Avvocato Difensore nel caso "Ultimo tango a Parigi"

Fausto Gianì
Giornalista, critico cinematografico
Perito nel caso "Ultimo tango a Parigi"

Mario Sesti
Giornalista, critico cinematografico, regista
Docente di Critica cinematografica - Università degli Studi "Roma Tre"
Curatore della Sezione "L'altro Cinema Extra" nel Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma

Claudio Trionfera
Giornalista, critico cinematografico, Capo Ufficio Stampa Medusa Cinema e Medusa Film
Perito nel caso "Ultimo tango a Parigi"

Mario Trapani
Professore Ordinario di Diritto penale - Università degli Studi "Roma Tre"

Friday, March 2, 2012

Course schedule (March 7th 2012 – May 24th 2012)

March 7th–9th: Law and Literature & introduction (Prof. David Skeel)
March 14th–16th: Law and Literature (Dr. Wim Decock)
March 21st–23rd: Law and Literature (Prof. Justin Steinberg, Dr. Stefania Gialdroni)
March 28th–30th: Law and Iconography (Prof. Anthony Musson)

April 4th–6th: Law and Architecture (Dr. Stefania Gialdroni)
April 11th-13th: Law and Literature/Iconography (Prof. Gary Watt)
April 18th–20th & 26th–27th : Midterm Exam

May 2nd–4th: Law and Philosophy, Law and History (Dr. Michele Spanò, Prof. E. Conte) May 9th–11th: Law and Archeology (Prof. Jan Gadeyne)
May 16th–17th: Law and Music
May 24th: Final Exam