Keywords: history of civil law; history of Italian labour law; collective agreements.
The essay covers the life, work and legal thinking of one of the most
brilliant Italian civil lawyers of the early 20th century. Messina was one
of the first Italian jurists to abandon exegesist methodology. He encountered
the German Pandectist school of thought; however, he differed
from these scholars in that he adopted a wholly State-centred concept of
law. B esides being a distinguished civil lawyer, Messina also considered
Italian trade union law. In particular he produced a range of studies on
collective contracts, which put him in the first rank of European labour
lawyers. Finally, Messina collaborated in the creation of the first administrative
body, which gave rise to the Ministry of Labour (Consiglio superiore
del lavoro), the development of the Charter of Labour and was an
MP from 1929 until January 1934.