“We had something in mind, which then changed and became something different” – interview with Oreste Pollicino, co-founder of Diritti Comparati

You founded Diritti Comparati in 2010. What motivated you to start a blog on comparative law in Italy?

We started publishing the first posts in March 2010. Diritti comparati was a group project, a collective effort from the start: we started with three collaborators, myself, Alberto Alemanno and Andrea Buratti. Raffaele Torino joined the project a bit later. The idea was sparked by the factual situation of the Italian legal discourse. We noticed that in Italian academic debate, there was no platform or attempt to discuss comparative law, especially comparative public law, outside of classic law reviews. Law reviews require a lot of time, not only when drafting a piece, but also the submission process, waiting for the reply and the delay until publication. This makes timely reactions to specific events almost impossible. Our idea was based on the acknowledgement that there was a gap and we felt it was the right moment for us to fill this gap, to provide for a new space for debate on comparative law. We wanted to give our informal debates an at least semi-formal forum and a blog seemed like the obvious choice. The blog provides for a means to express one’s opinion in a much less formal way than law reviews, and we wanted to provide a counterpoint to formality, which is a very typical trait of Italian legal scholarship.

Did your idea of a less formal way of expressing one’s opinion work on the blog?

It worked somewhat. Of course, while some posts are less formal, others are more similar to shorter law review articles. We also noticed that debates did not take place in the comment section. People prefer to write another post as a reply instead of using the comment section. Usually, we do not have big debates around one single post, but more so on a topic that is then discussed in a number of different posts. The culture of blogging has also changed since we started ...

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