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Giuseppe Compagnoni, constitutionnaliste républicain des lumières

Abstract : Compagnoni, the first historical holder of a chair of constitutional law at the end of the eighteenth century, was greatly inspired by Rousseau to write his Elementi di diritto costituzionale democratico. Contrary to the criticisms that have been levelled at him, he was not a vulgar copyist, so much so that he endeavoured to adapt, as a jurist, the work of the Geneva philosopher. The Italian's seminal work begins by describing and justifying human rights, in the wake of the Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men. It distinguishes, however, between perfect rights and imperfect rights, the rights of security and relief, in that the latter, unlike the former, cannot justify the use of force because it puts man in relation with his peers. It is from the possibility of exercising these rights that the social covenant is ultimately born. From the original distinction that Rousseau made between forms of State and forms of Government, understood as the exercise of executive power, Compagnoni drew inspiration for erecting, alongside democracy, aristocracy and monarchy, a new, mixed form affecting the organisation of legislative power, representative democracy, making a distinction between enunciation, carried out by representatives, and the making of law, held by the sovereign alone. It is, however, a deviation from Rousseau's work, so central is the inalienability of sovereignty.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 4:12:32 PM
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Julien Giudicelli. Giuseppe Compagnoni, constitutionnaliste républicain des lumières. Alexis Le Quinio; Thierry Santolini. Trois précurseurs italiens du droit constitutionnel, La mémoire du droit, pp.619-630, 2018, 978-2-84539-040-9. ⟨hal-01931138⟩



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