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Università degli Studi di Palermo - Leader of the Project

Università degli Studi di Palermo - Leader of the Project

Founded in 1806, the University of Palermo (UNIPA) is a consolidated cultural, scientific and teaching presence in Italy. Its 5 Schools and 20 Departments cover the most important domains of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge. About 122 courses (first and second cycle) are yearly offered as well as 44 master and specialization and 23 PhD courses, targeted to the training of specific professional figures, often in cooperation with external institutions and companies - a galaxy which attracts on average 10,000 first-year students every year. Unipa is also partner of the FORTHEM project within the European Universities Action 2 of the Erasmus+.

The Law School of Palermo University – Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza (from now: Di.Gi.) is the heir of the ancient Faculty of Law, a place where many of the most authoritative jurists in the Italian and European fields were trained and have taught, as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino (heroes who fought against Mafia) or the actual President of Italian Republic. As part of the State University the main goals are 3:

a) Research,
b) Education and
c) the so-called “third mission”, that regards activities for the social accountability of Academy.

a) In particular among the main areas of research there are: Human Rights and International Law, Democracy and Rule of law; State borders and human mobility, Citizenship, Asylum and Migration; Minorities, Vulnerable Subjects, (Non) Discrimination, the phenomena and the strategy to prevent and combat the Organized Crime, etc.;

b) The Di.Gi. educational programs include: Undergraduate courses, Postgraduate courses, PhD programs and Lifelong learning paths.

c) The social commitment of the Palermo department is expressed mainly by the presence of CLEDU: a Law Clinic for Human Rights within the Department. It is highly committed in protection and empowerment of migrants, refugees', minorities', and vulnerable subjects' rights, offering them pro bono legal aid.

The Di.Gi. was one of  the few Law school in Italy awarded a funding of several years within the Ministerial program "Departments of Excellence 2018-2022". This result acknowledges the importance of a project which aims at placing the Department in a central position within the Euro-Mediterranean Research Area. The Di.Gi. decided to invest the grants of the award to create a Master Course in “International migration: Law and Public Policy” For undergraduates, Di.Gi. offers a Law Degree Course of 5 years, which is spread over three different cities (Palermo, Agrigento, Trapani), and a Three-year Degree Course in Business Legal Consultant in Trapani. The degree course in Jurisprudence in Palermo has signed agreements for the implementation of integrated courses with the University of Beijing. For post-graduated teaching, the Department proposes two PhD Courses: one in "Human Rights" and the other in "Legal pluralisms". Both of these courses are characterized by: multidisciplinary approach, social commitment and a strong international vocation (both, in fact, offer  the possibility of achieving a double title following agreements in agreement with foreign universities, as well as a network of collaborations with other universities for conducting part of the doctorate abroad in "co-thesis"). DiGi also organizes lifelong learning activities for legal professionals, social workers and interested citizens (such as lawyers, magistrates,  civil servants) in partnership with NGOs and others civil society actors. The Jean Monnet Module on "Mobility, Security and the New Media", funded by the EU under the Erasmus + Program offers a 3-year course by a group of local and international experts, and is addressed to advanced students, PhD students, to magistrates, to lawyers and to representatives of the police. Among the staff, about 110 people are professors and researchers, and about 30 administrative personnel.
École des hautes études en sciences sociales | EHESS

École des hautes études en sciences sociales | EHESS

The Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire d’Études sur les Reflexivités – Fonds Yan Thomas (LIER-FYT) is an interdisciplinary research unit, which is part of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

It includes philosophers, historians, sociologists, and jurists. The jurists have particularly focused their attention on the complex analysis of legal sources, as their group was formed after the teaching of Yan Thomas, a specialist of Roman Law, who worked intensively on the medieval and modern legal texts. Being part of the larger Campus Condorcet, the LIER-FYT has permanent links with other important French institutions with large experience in dealing with historical sources, such as the Institut de Recherche sur l’Histoire des Textes and the École Nationale des Chartes, which are also members of the Campus Condorcet.
University of Fribourg

University of Fribourg

Associate partner of FONTES 

The Fontes project is in perfect synergy with the teaching and research activities carried out within the History Department and the Institute for Medieval Studies of the University of Fribourg. Fontes can rely on the experience developed at the University of Fribourg, especially in the field of teaching the reading and digital editing of medieval sources (paleography, diplomacy, codicology and sigillography) for beginners and advanced students. Based on its experience, the University of Fribourg is currently developing a project for a "National Competence Center for Manuscript Research" attached to the Institute of Medieval Studies, which will be created in the course of 2022.

Swiss associated institutions 

Les Archives de l’Etat de Neuchâtel / State Archives of Neuchâtel 

The State Archives of Neuchâtel preserve a very riche documentation produced by the seigniorial, county, princely and republican administrations of Neuchâtel since the 12th century, as well as numerous ecclesiastical and private archives. Among numerous collaborations, they work together with the Foundation for Swiss Legal Sources to publish the medieval and modern legal sources of the Principality of Neuchâtel, both online and in printed form. The State Archives of Neuchâtel collaborate, among different institutions and initiatives, with the excellent SIGILLA sigillographic database ( 

Les Archives de l’Etat de Fribourg/ State Archives of Fribourg 

The State Archives of Fribourg houses exceptional collections of legal and historical sources for the medieval and modern periods: several fonds and series form ensembles of remarkable continuity. Different projects (in connection with FONTES), led by Lionel Dorthe, can be mentioned : the foundation (2021) and direction of the Bibliotheca Otolandana (collection dedicated to the edition of Fribourg historical sources), with preparation (as editor and director) of the second volume (2022) dedicated to a register of minutes of criminal interrogations, with all the related sources preserved (protocols of the government/tribunal sessions and accounting sources with the court fees related to the cases contained in the register) - the collection is being published in printed form and will be soon converted into an XML-TEI for online distribution 

The Law Sources Foundation of the Swiss Lawyers Society 

The Foundation for Legal Sources of the Swiss Society of Jurists ( has developed first-class tools and methods for the editing (XML/TEI), digitization and analysis of medieval and modern legal sources. Since 1898, the Foundation has published the important "Collection of the sources of Swiss law" regrouping sources from the early Middle Ages to the modern period (1798). ( and since 2012.
Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Founded in 1364, the Jagiellonian University (JU) is the oldest higher education institution in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. JU is the leading research institution in Poland, conducting research across a wide range of disciplines. With 16 faculties, almost 40000 students, over 4500 academic teachers and over 550 professors, JU provides over 246 professionally focused course areas in the most notable fields (natural and social sciences, humanities, medicine etc.). JU consistently occupies top positions in all rankings of the best universities in Poland.

Being recognised worldwide, the JU is a member of the European University Association, Coimbra Group, International Research Universities network and the Utrecht Network. Junior academics and doctors from the JU annually receive over 10% of the prestigious grants awarded by the Foundation for Polish Science in recognition of the level of their scientific research. Academics from the University are effective in their competition for grants from European research programmes, and the University has 4 European Centres of Excellence. JU is involved in many international research and educational projects within different programmes, such as: Horizon2020, 7. Framework Programme, Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus+ COST and many others. At present, JU cooperates with over 300 foreign universities. 

The Faculty of Law and Administration is part of many international expert groups in organisations such as the European Labour Law Network, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Acquis Group. Regular scientific cooperation takes place between the UJ and University of Augsburg, Harvard University, the University of Greifswald, Maastricht University and the members of UNA Europa alliance. Two kind of competences are essential for the project: 1/ knowledge of various types of legal sources in the past, including their specificity and interaction, 2/ as well as the ability to work with historical sources (palaeography, historical source analysis, source editing). It should be emphasized that studies on legal sources are a long-standing tradition at the Jagiellonian University and have been conducted since at least the middle of the 19th century. It is essential to point out two tools (provided by the Faculty of Law and Administration JU) which may come in useful during studies on legal historical sources. The first one – entitled “Fontes Iuris Polonici” - is a series dedicated to editing primary sources ( Six volumes were published so far (including records of criminal courts from 16th-18th centuries and municipal records from 14th-15th centuries). The second one is an on-line website containing platform entitled “IURA. The Laws from the Past” ( It is designed as a digital meta-edition  of legal historical sources. The notable features of the database include an open formula available in Polish and English.
Co-funded by the EU

Co-funded by the EU

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. 
KA220-HED - Cooperation partnerships in higher education under grant agreement No 2021-1-IT02-KA220-HED-000032190
Co-funded by the MOVETIA

Co-funded by the MOVETIA

This project is financially supported by Movetia. Movetia promotes exchange, mobility and cooperation within the fields of education, training and youth work – in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide.

Movetia is the Swiss agency for exchange and mobility. It is sponsored by the Swiss Foundation for the Promotion of Exchanges and Mobility (SFAM).

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is a multidisciplinary and interactive training curriculum on the knowledge, understanding and use of medieval and early-modern legal sources, thus filling a substantial gap in the higher education within the humanities.

The project is articulated in three main components:

  • taught courses (both Master’s and intensive courses),
  • a comprehensive and interactive handbook, and
  • an on-line digital platform. 

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The logotype of UE with text: co-funded by the European UnionThis project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The logotype of MovetiaThis project is financially supported by Movetia. Movetia promotes exchange, mobility and cooperation within the fields of education, training and youth work – in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide.

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