Polacco, Vittorio

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POLACCO, VITTORIO (1859–1926), Italian jurist. Born in Padua, Polacco was professor of civil law at the University of Padua from 1885 to 1918 and at the University of Rome from 1918 until his death. He was renowned as a jurist and was invited to teach law and the history of religions to Prince Umberto of Savoy. Polacco was a member of the Italian Senate from 1910 and played an important part in the drafting of the Senate's legislation. He kept aloof from politics and aroused great interest when, in 1925, he delivered the only political speech he ever made in parliament, his subject being freedom of conscience and the protection of religious minorities. He wrote a number of legal works, including Le Obbligazioni nel Diritto Civile Italiano (1898); and Delle Successioni (2 vols., 1902), both of which ran into many editions, and Contro il divorzio (2 vols., 1892) in which he set out his opposition to divorce. Rome's Jewish elementary school was named after him.

[Giorgio Romano]