Diploma in Penal Jurisprudence

Outline of the program

The Diploma in Penal Jurisprudence intends to explore in depth the major issues of penal law, in order to acquaint the student with all of the elements present in penal cases, as well as legislation outside of the Code of Canon Law, and the practice of the different roles within the penal process. Thus, it builds on theoretical knowledge of the norms by giving the students a mindset which enables them to put into practice in a penal trial the principles which govern the substantive penal norms. The quality of teaching is guaranteed by the experience in the different courts and Dicasteries of the teachers involved as well as by their academic excellence


Duration and distribution of time

The program lasts an entire academic year, from October to the end of May. Of the approximately 140 days, 100 are dedicated to seminars on jurisprudence, while the other 40 (with three hours of lectures per day) are made of lecture courses.

Student number, priorities and conditions for enrolment

The number of students is limited (up to 14). In the selection process, candidates who are already enrolled in the Faculty take precedence. Applications should be delivered as soon as possible, and no later than May 30, 2021. A response will be given by June.

The conditions for the admission of candidates are as follows:

  • A licentiate or doctorate in canon law;
  • Knowledge of Italian (the language of instruction is Italian). The teaching material is in Italian and Latin. The assignments can be completed in any "official" language of the university, which is understandable to the teacher.
  • A request for admission to the program by the candidate’s superior; for the lay faithful will need a letter of presentation from their Bishop or the parish priest;
  • Documents to be attached to the student’s request:
    • certificate of academic degrees achieved,
    • curriculum vitae, indicating previous studies and positions held,
    • Indication of language skills.
  • Payment of the annual academic fees as established by the University. It is possi-ble to pay the total share in October or divide the sum into two installments (Octo-ber, January). Total or partial exemption from payment can be requested. Students enrolled for the first time can be exempted from fees only for the second semester.

Degree offered

A student who has successfully completed the seminars and prescribed courses will re-ceive the Diploma in Giurisprudenza Penale. This Diploma does not constitute an aca-demic degree, but an acknowledgement of the completion of a course of study (Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium, Ordinationes, art. 41).

The program includes two types of courses:

  • a) Lecture courses, in which the main themes of penal law will be treated in a more theoreti-cal form, such as:
    • Criminal law in the Church.
    • The Preliminary Investigation.
    • The structure of the judicial criminal trial.
    • The structure of the extra judicial criminal trial
    • Criminal law in the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
    • Promoter of justice and others involved in the trial.
    • The practice of interrogation in the criminal trial.
    • Ethics of operators in the courts.
    • The evaluation of the evidence, the decision and the drafting of it.
    • Economic crimes, etc.
    • Appeals against decisions and judgments.
    • Psychological aspects of crimes against the Sixth Commandment.
  • b) Seminars will be of a practical nature in which different cases are analyzed through the reading of real transcripts. These cases include:
    • Crimes against the religion and unity of the Church.
    • Crimes against the Sacrament of Penance.
    • Crimes against the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
    • Crimes against the sixth commandment committed by a cleric against a minor.
    • Resignation of the clerical state according to the faculties granted to the Congrega-tion for the Clergy.
    • Crimes judged by the Roman Rota.
    • Expulsion from consecrated life, etc.


More information are availabe in the brochure:

Flyer in English:
Brochure in Italiano
Brochure en Français:
Folleto en Español:

If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact Canon Law Faculty.

Email: [email protected]