zondag 1 februari 2009

The Law Faculties Hosting the ELMC: An Introduction (1)

St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia

The Faculty of Law was founded in 1892 as the third faculty of the Higher School after the Faculty of Histo­ry and Philology and the Faculty of Physics and Math­ematics. It was with the founding of the Faculty of Law that the Higher School acquired university status.
As early as the first decade after the founding of the Faculty a number of well-known lawyers joined its staff – Stefan Kirov, Petar Abrashev, Michail Popo­viliev, Josif Fadenheht, Stephan Bobchev, Georgi Da­nailov, Todor Kulev, Simeon Angelov. These lecturers defined the academic essence of the faculty with their high teaching and scholarly standards in major areas of legal studies.

On 21 October 1902 the Academic Council of the Higher School passed a resolution to establish eleven departments at the Faculty: Roman Law, History of Bulgarian and Slavic Law, State and Administrative Law, Political Economy, Finance, Public and Private International Law, Philosophy and Encyclopedia of Law, Civil Law and Civil Law of Procedure, Trade Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Law of Procedure, and Statistics.
For the first fifty years of its existence the Faculty of Law established itself as a centre of vigorous academic life. It extended and renovated its teaching staff. A clear proof of this fact was the next generation of lecturers at the Faculty, most of whom were its graduates who had specialized at eminent European universities.
During the first decade after the Second World War, the Faculty of Law underwent a serious crisis. Contrary to all norms and academic criteria, a number of people with considerable authority in the academic commu­nity, as well as some younger talented lecturers were forced to leave the Faculty of Law. Academic auton­omy was destroyed. Law education and legal studies were ideologized. Centralized approval of students and their political selection was introduced.
A process of normalization of academic life at the Faculty commenced in the 1960s. International schol­arly contacts were restored.

After the democratic changes in 1989 the independ­ence of the Faculty of Law was restored and the princi­ples of academic autonomy were reinstalled. Existing international relations were extended and developed. With the introduction of the new curriculum educa­tion at the faculty came to meet to a greater extent the requirements stemming from the changes in Bulgarian legislation and the process of legal integration.
In the 90s of the twentieth century a number of new faculties of law were established in the country. A number of them were modeled after the Faculty of Law of Sofia University. Moreover, it has been a source of teaching experience, transferred through staff members teaching at such universities as visiting professors, and through the recruitment of their teaching staff among young lawyers, graduates from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University.

During the academic year 2006/2007 the Faculty of Law had a total number of 3,093 Bulgarian and 211 foreign students.

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