Roberto Scarciglia

The “black swan" and the comparatist: reflections on the indicators, variables and legal comparison

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Nassib Nicholas Thaleb defines the “black swanµ as the occurrence of a highly improbable event, equivalent of the nonoccurrence of a highly probable one. In these times of crisis caused by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic, a question of Thaleb appears to be of great interest to legal scholars: «Isn’t it strange to see an event happening precisely because it was not supposed to happen? What kind of defense do we have against that?». Without doubt, it is not possible to give a reliable answer to this question. However, we can ask ourselves what value indicators have from a legal point of view, and whether they can affect constitutional rights or freedoms. We can recall, in this regard, that the Italian government, based on 12 indicators, has established, for example, limitations on the right of free movement of people to counter the spread of the infection from Covid-19.


  • legal comparison
  • indicators
  • variables
  • interactions between variables


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