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The Faculty’s History

The Faculty of Law of Masaryk University is one of the prestigious legal and educational institutions in the Czech Republic.

The Faculty of Law was one of the four founding faculties of Masaryk University in 1919. The studies commenced in academic year 1919/1920 and the team of professors included figures such as Bohumil Baxa, Jaroslav Kallab, Karel Engliš (the first rector of the University) or Franišek Weyr who became the first dean of the Faculty of Law. In the period between the wars five professors of the Faculty of Law held the office of the rector of Masaryk University.

At first, the teaching took place in temporary areas near the centre of Brno. The current building was opened in 1932. It should have been a part of a considerably larger campus with its own square. However, the economic recession of the early 1930s resulted in abandoning this idea.

The teaching at Masaryk University, hence at the Faculty of Law too, was interrupted in 1939 as a consequence of the German occupation. A part of the Faculty’s students and teachers were involved in the resistance movement and some of them sacrificed their lives. During the war the Faculty's building was used by Gestapo and housed cells and interrogation rooms.

After the World War II, following negotiations with the Soviet army, the Faculty’s operation was renewed. However, the upswing of Communism in 1948 brought about the ousting of a number of professors, including František Weyr. In spite of this, the Faculty preserved the tradition of Weyr’s normative school, which subsequently caused the cancellation of the Faculty of Law in 1955. Its building was handed over to the Military Academy, which remained there until 1989.

Brno did not witness the renewal of its school of law until the period of more relaxed political climate in 1969. However, the teaching took place in substitute area in Zelný trh in the centre of Brno. The Faculty was not allowed to draw on its pre-war tradition of the First Republic. In addition to that, the entire university could not bear the name of Masaryk and had to be renamed to J. E. Purkyně University.

The University did not return to its original title until after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Similarly, the Faculty of Law had to wait until then for its return to the building intended for its seat.

  • 15 November 1918: Writer A. Jirásek and prof. K. Engliš raise the proposal for the founding of university in the Parliament
  • 28 January 1919: Masaryk University founded; it featured four faculties (Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science)
  • 1919/1920: Commencing its operation; the core of the academic staff involved Bohumil Baxa, professor for Czech history, Josef Vacek, professor for comparative legal science, Jaroslav Kallab for criminal law, Rudolf Dominik for commercial law, professors František Weyr, Karel Engliš and Jaromír Sedláček; Karel Engliš became the first dean of the Faculty of Law
  • 1922: Announcement of a public tender for the project of the construction of academic campus
  • 1925: Announcement of a public tender for the design of the academic square
  • 9 June 1928: Ceremony of laying down the foundation stone
  • 1931: The building was handed over for use
  • The period between the wars saw the following professors hold the position of the Faculty’s dean: František Weyr 1919 - 1920, 1927 - 1928, 1935 - 1936, Jaroslav Kallab 1920 - 1921, 1929 - 1930, 1937 - 1938, Karel Engliš 1921 - 1922, 1925 - 1926, Josef Vacek 1922 - 1923, Bohumil Baxa 1923 - 1924, 1933 - 1934, Dobroslav Krejčí 1924 - 1925, 1931 - 1932, Jaromír Sedláček 1926 - 1927, 1934 - 1935, Jan Loevenstein 1928 - 1929, Rudolf Dominik 1930 - 1931, 1939 - 1940, Jan Vážný 1932 - 1933, František Čáda 1936 - 1937 and František Rouček 1938 – 1939; as a rule the dean became a vice-dean the next year. Professors Karel Engliš 1919 - 1920, František Weyr 1923 - 1924, Jaroslav Kallab 1927 - 1928, Bohumil Baxa 1931 - 1932 and Dobroslav Krejčí 1935 - 1936 also became rectors of Masaryk University
  • 17 November 1939: The Nazi troops seized the buildings of universities and students’ dormitories
  • 1945: Prof. Fr. Čáda became the first post-war dean of the Faculty of Law
  • 11 June 1945: Lectures were commenced in the Auditorium Maximum by a ceremonial address given by the Faculty’s dean
  • 1945: Opening of the following institutes: For the philosophy of law (head V. Kubeš); for the history of Central Europe's public and private law (Fr. Čáda); for the history of law in the territory of Czechoslovakia (Fr. Čáda); for civic law (V. Kubeš); for commercial and bill of exchange law (F. Rouček, the institute remained without a head after his departure); for administrative law (J. Pošvář); for international law (B. Kučera); for science and financial law (Vl. Vybral); national economy and statistics (V. Chytil); and for constitutional law (Fr. Weyr)
  • 1948: A number of negative changes in the life of the Faculty
  • 10:95 Establishment of 7 departments which were, however, never allowed to develop their activities; the deans were Jaroslav Pošvář 1948 – 1949 and Jaromír Blažke 1949 – 1950.
  • 27 June 1950: The Faculty was cancelled by a decree issued by the Government; the Faculty's building was a short time later handed over to the Military Academy which held it until 1990.
  • 15 March 1969: The Government’s regulation No. 35/1969 Coll. renewed the Faculty of Law within Jana Evangelista Purkyně University in Brno; the first dean was Vladimír Klokočka, associate professor for the constitutional law.
  • 1989: The Faculty returned to its original seat in Veveří and began restoring the building to its original appearance; the heads of the Faculty after 1989: Jiří Kroupa (1990–1994), Zdeňka Gregorová (1994–1995), Josef Bejček (1995–2001), Jan Svatoň (2001–2007), Naděžda Rozehnalová (2007–2015) and Markéta Selucká (2015 – until now)
  • If you seek more information about the present days and future plans of the Faculty of Law, see the Annual Reports link; other materials dealing with these topics are being prepared.

Historical photographs can be found in the gallery.