XIVth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians

Pécs, Hungary

7-10 May, 2008
Pécs, Hungary

Turning Points and Breaklines

About the Organizers

Modern-day law students at the University of Pécs can look back for predecessors to the Middle Ages, when legal studies were conducted at the first University founded in Hungary. The Hungarian king, Louis the Great, gave his order to establish the University at Pécs in 1367. In the following centuries, the fate of legal education in Pécs was decided by the historic events – civil wars, invasions – of the area: records of various times hint at a college or even a university functioning in the city, there was, however, no continuously working institution. Bishop of Pécs György Klimó made significant efforts to establish a Catholic university, and while his lobbying proved ultimately unsuccessful, his feat of opening Hungary’s first public access library (with the goal of providing a library for future students) in 1774 is worth mentioning. His later successor, Bishop Ignác Szepessy succeeded in opening an Academy in Pécs in 1833, with a Faculty of Law and a Faculty of Humanities.

The contemporary Faculty of Law of the University of Pécs began its work as the Royal Erzsébet University of Bratislava, from where it was relocated after the First World War. Throughout the 20th century, the Faculty has continued its work and formed a basis of the developing higher education project in Pécs: from 1982, as a faculty of the Janus Pannonius University, and since 2000, in the framework of the University of Pécs. As a modern curriculum was established in the 1990’s, and is continuously developed to meet the challenges of the 21st century, so changed the facilities and infrastructure of the Faculty to entice students from every part of Hungary and many other countries. At present more than 5000 students participate in the various courses at the faculty.