From theory to putting law into practice: an International Observatory on the rights of individuals and families has been created

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It is not always easy to understand and deal with laws and national and international regulations, especially when you have to put theory into practice, interpreting legislation for real-life cases. This is all the more true given that we are talking about a supranational, rather than a national, system, at least with regard to the link between the Italian system and the EU system, and especially in terms of fundamental topics such as the rights of individuals and families.

This is the concept behind “The Galilean Telescope”, the International Observatory on the Rights of Persons and Families at local, national and international level.

This idea, developed over recent years, has been implemented by the Board of the Department of Private Law and Critique of Law at the University of Padova. The aim of the observatory is to solve practical issues with the contribution of various professionals (professors, lawyers, notaries, accountants and so on). In this way, students will also receive training on how to practically solve the issues they are taught about in theory. Federica Giardini, Ordinary Professor of Comparative Private Law at the University of Padua and creator of The Galilean Telescope, explains that “this project has the potential to also become a new educational model, it is a one-of-a-kind system in Italy and abroad, a permanent workshop, a worksite for applied law”.

The aim is to go beyond theory, applying law to specific, real-life cases and thus making law students better understand the realities they will have to face once they have completed their studies. Professor Giardini goes on to state that “the historic era we are living in requires complex skills in terms of implementation and within the social sphere in order to provide effective solutions to each real-life case. Our project also falls under the University’s third mission, i.e. to transfer academic skills to the local area and to civil society. Our aim is to provide the necessary tools to solve tangible problems across a wide range of areas: private law, business law, industrial law and labour law, but, more in general, every aspect of the legal system. Providing the necessary know-how to analyse, understand and solve specific cases, at the same time as applying that knowledge: Giardini continues “We also feel the need to protect individuals’ rights with respect to supranational mechanisms whose effects can be seen in public debate on a daily basis. We’re thinking about the relationship between individual rights and economic laws”.

Not only will the Observatory provide students with an innovative tool for their academic training, but it will also provide concrete guidelines on how to improve civil society: “We want to extend this workshop on a national and international level by creating a network of dialogue and ongoing training together with other universities, both within the EU and internationally, as well as with the university’s current partners throughout the world, namely study centres, institutions, associations and research centres.” Giardini concludes, “In this way, we will be able to provide society with practical solutions, offering answers to even our most complex daily problems. This will be possible with everyone’s contribution, in a systematic way. Just as Galileo did in the field of astronomy with his Telescope”.