Development of Comparative Law in Italy

Elisabetta Grande

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780199296064
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Development of Comparative Law in Italy


Since Italy's unification in 1861, Italian law has mainly been a ‘context of reception’. In contrast to contexts of production, where legal scholarship tends to unfold in a self-centred mode, contexts of reception tend to search for legal innovation abroad. Italian legal culture has often copied legal ideas, norms, and institutions from foreign countries but only rarely produced original work of its own. The article begins the story of comparative law in Italy in the early part of the twentieth century. It distinguishes three fundamental layers: a commercial law branch, a reformist tradition, and a mainstream, ‘scientific’, approach. It discusses the current state of Italian comparative law resulting from the academic and cultural influence of these three layers. It also attempts to assess the impact of the more significant and original contributions of Italian comparative law at the European and global levels.

Keywords: Italian law; comparative law; legal innovation; commercial law

Article.  10914 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law

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