The Contribution of Luigi Rava (1860-1938) to Italian Public Law Scholarship

By Fulvio Cortese

This essay seeks to study and analyze Luigi Rava’s works and political and administrative commitments. Luigi Rava (1860-1938) was an Italian professor of law and administrative sciences, a minister and undersecretary in the governments of Francesco Crispi and Giovanni Giolitti, a member of Parliament and a Senator in the Italian kingdom, and a member of the State Council. His significance is outstanding, first of all, for the copious and essential reforms that he proposed in the fields of welfare and social security, but also of cultural and natural heritage. Second, the intellectual legacy of this extraordinary jurist is particularly relevant on a methodological level. In a cultural context in which Italian legal scholars vehemently embraced the new dogmatic approach to legal studies, Rava encouraged a different, modern and interdisciplinary approach, through his support for a “contamination” between legal and other social sciences.