The University of Turin Department of Law is the law school of the University of Turin. It is commonly shortened UNITO Department of Law. It traces its roots to the founding of the University of Turin, and has produced or hosted some of the most outstanding jurists, statespeople and scholars in Italian and European history. Among its distinguished faculty and alumni are leading writers, philosophers and legal scholars. Nowadays the Department of Law continues the tradition, with particular strengths in the fields of private law, EU law, comparative law and related fields.
The history of the Department of Law can be traced to the establishment of the University of Turin, in 1404, and has followed its developments over the ensuing six centuries.
In autumn 1404, a bull issued by Benedict XIII, the Avignon Pope, marked the actual birth of a centre of higher learning in Torino, formally ratified in 1412 by the Emperor Sigmund's certification and subsequently, in 1413, by a bull issued by antipope John XXIII, the Pisan Pope, and probably by another issued in 1419 by Martin V, Pope of Rome, and by a series of papal privileges. The new institution, which initially only held courses in civil and canon law, was authorized to confer both the academic "licentia" and "doctoratus" titles which were later to become a single "laurea" (degree) title. It was the Bishop, as Rector of Studies, who proclaimed and conferred the title on the new doctors.
In 1436, ducal licenses established the three core faculties of Theology, Arts and Medicine, as well as Civil and Canon law. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the legal studies increasingly grew, giving the Department a national and international reputation. Notable academics contributed to the growth of the Department. During the years of the Resurgence, when a numerous group of patriots and intellectuals took refuge in the Savoy capital city, some of Italy's most remarkable names taught at the University and the Department of Law, like the jurist and statesman Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, and the two economics professors Antonio Scialoja and Francesco Ferrara.
In modern Italian history, the UNITO Department of Law was known for its central role in Italian national unification and cultural progressiveness. For instance, in 1881, the Department of Law graduated Lidia Poët, who would become the controversial first female jurist in modern Italy.
In the first half of 20th century some outstanding names in the history of the Department and the university include: Luigi Einaudi, in the field of the financial studies; Gaetano Mosca in public law; Francesco Ruffini in canon law and Paolo Greco in commercial law. Most recently should be mentioned at least Norberto Bobbio, in legal philosophy; Giovanni Conso, in criminal law; Gastone Cottino in commercial law; Marcello Gallo, in criminal law; Giuseppe Grosso in Roman law; Rodolfo Sacco in civil and comparative law. The Department of Law is located in Turin, nearby the fascinating Mole Antonelliana. It is one of the leading law departments in Europe, with particular strengths in the fields of comparative law and private law. Additionally, the Department of Law has improved its physical facilities (including course offerings in Cuneo and international exchange programs with a number of the world's leading research universities). The Department of Law coordinates the research work of more than 120 law professors in the different areas of law.