Faculty of LawComenius University in Bratislava

History of Department

Historical summary of the existence of Department of Theory of Law and Social Sciences at Faculty of Law of Comenius University in Bratislava

Lectures and courses from philosophy and history of legal philosophy were carried out at the Faculty of Law even before the establishment of the departmental arrangement of the faculty. Right after the foundation of the Faculty of Law of Comenius University in Bratislava, a Seminar (it is the term used to denominate the organizational unit, not the type of tuition) of the Legal Philosophy was created under the authority of Professor Bohuslav Tomsa and in the years 1939-1944 the Institute of Legal Philosophy of the Faculty of Law was established at the Faculty, led by infamous Professor Vojtech Tuka. Since the 1950s Faculty´s tasks have been executed by means of new organizational units – departments. A predecessor of the Department of Theory of Law and Social Sciences was a joint Department of Theory and History of State and Law. Associate professor Ladislav Lipscher led the Department of Theory and History of State and Law in the years 1950-1951. Since 1952, Associate professor Martin Vietor has taken over the management of the joint department. Also since 1950, the teaching of the theory of law at this joint department was provided by Ján Bakič and Ján Králik as Assistant professors.

The Department of Theory of Law and Social Sciences (thereinafter referred to as the “Department”) was established as a separate department in 1963 by the division of the Department of Theory and History of State and Law into two successor departments. Since then, the Department has been a permanent and significant part of the internal organizational structure of the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University in Bratislava. Initially, after the establishment of the independent Department it was led by Associate professor Ján Bakič and at the same time František Červeňanský, Libuša Durajová, Pavol Dojčák worked there as Associate professors, and Alexander Kuchta (since 1960), Vladimír Vaňo (since 1962) worked at the Department as Assistant professors, while Alexandra Krsková (since 1965) and Peter Borodovčák (since 1966) were Assistants. At that time, the Department provided the teaching and theoretical development of courses on: Theory of State and Law, History of Political and Legal Ideologies and Legal Sociology.

In the 1980s, the Department headed by prof. Pavol Dojčák focused mainly on the research of undergraduate legal knowledge, the methodological issues concerning science of state and law, and the effectiveness of law in society from the aspect of law making and its execution. Members of the Department were Associate professors doc. PhDr. Emília Bakošová, CSc., doc. JUDr. Jozef Prusák, CSc., and Assistant professors JUDr. Ján Cuper, CSc., JUDr. Pavol Holländer, CSc., JUDr. Alexandra Krsková, CSc., JUDr. Alexander Kuchta and JUDr. Eva Malcevová, CSc.

In the 1990s, the Department was led by prof. JUDr. Jozef Prusák, CSc., and as Associate professors acted doc. JUDr. Ján Cuper, CSc., doc. PhDr. Emília Bakošová, CSc., doc. JUDr. Alexandra Krsková, CSc., doc. JUDr. Eva Malcevová, CSc., doc. PhDr. Tomáš Valent, CSc. and doc. PhDr. Jarmila Chovancová, CSc. and JUDr. Nadežda Vaculíková worked here as Assistant professor. In the center of attention of the Department was on the one hand the guaranty of teaching of the theoretical courses, but on the other hand after 1989 also a strong scientific dedication to highly topical issues of the theory of state and law, issues of law, morality and justice, history of political and legal thinking and legal sociology was followed.

In the following years, the Department was gradually headed by doc. JUDr. Eva Ottová, CSc., JUDr. Nadežda Vaculíková, CSc. and JUDr. Branislav Fábry, PhD. Since 2017 the Head of the Department is doc. JUDr. PhDr. Tomáš Gábriš, PhD., LL.M., MA.

At present, the Department by its research work scientifically guarantees and pedagogically provides for the education of obligatory courses of the first degree of study program in law (Theory of Law I and II and Legal and Political Philosophy) and a wide range of obligatory optional and selective courses thematically oriented, inter alia, on the issues of sociology of law, ethics and bioethics, law and art, clinical law education, modern technologies and sports law. The Department also exercises the right to conduct a rigorous procedure whereby the applicant is awarded the title “Doctor of Rights” (JUDr., originally “juris utriusque doctor”, a doctor of both laws) after a successful examination.    

The members of the Department, as one of the top workplaces of the Faculty, fulfilled by their results of scientific activities the required criteria for obtaining the right to provide teaching also at the third level of university studies in the doctoral study program “Theory and History of State and Law”. The scientific degree “PhD” (“philosophiae doctor”) is awarded to PhD. students after graduation, elaboration and successful defence of dissertation thesis. As a part of the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University in cooperation with other departments, the Department also obtained the rights to approve habilitation procedures, and appointment procedures for a degree of full professor in the field of study “Theory and History of State and Law”.