Table of Contents

Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Second Edition

Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Second Edition

Elgar original reference

Edited by Jan M. Smits

Written by leading authorities in their respective fields, the contributions in this accessible book cover and combine not only questions regarding the methodology of comparative law, but also specific areas of law (such as administrative law and criminal law) and specific topics (such as accident compensation and consideration). In addition, the Encyclopedia contains reports on a selected set of countries’ legal systems and, as a whole, presents an overview of the current state of affairs.

Chapter 37: Italy

Barbara Pozzo

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law


Italy (Italia) is undoubtedly a civil law country. According to the categorization of René David it belongs to the Roman-Germanistic family, while in the Zweigert and Kötz exposition Italy comes under the Roman system (David and Jauffret-Spinosi, 2002; Zweigert and Kötz, 1998). According to an eminent American comparative lawyer (Merryman, 1999, pp. 178ff.), for a common lawyer the Italian law is a peculiarly appropriate avenue of approach to study the civil law system, because of the way in which the Italians have managed to receive and rationalize the principal and quite different French and German contributions, and because Italy has a peculiar importance as the historic source of much of the law of western Europe.

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