On the 11th of October Vilnius University Faculty of Law celebrated its 380th anniversary. During the celebratory Faculty council meeting faculty community was honored by several guests, who joined the event: His Excellency President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, Rector of Vilnius University Rimvydas Petrauskas, Chairman of the Council of Judges Sigita Rudėnaitė, LVAT chairman Gintaras Kryževičius, Minister of Justice Evelina Dobrovolska, Prosecutor General Nida Grunskienė, Chairman of the VU TF Alumni Association Gintautas Bartkus and others.
Welcoming the lawyers, the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda mentioned the importance of curiosity, openness, tolerance and stability in the legal profession: “I hope that all of you share the same passion and want to learn and create. Lithuania and it’s people need professionals who can contribute to a more cohesive and just society. Therefore, I wish you keep building a welfare state, it is a never-ending process in a democratic world.” You can find the full text of the President’s congratulatory message here.
In his speech, the Rector of Vilnius University, Professor Rimvydas Petrauskas, paid a lot of attention to the history of the Faculty of Law. He noted that Nobel Laureate in Literature Česlovas Milošas had also graduated from the VU Faculty of Law. He appreciated the faculty’s international relations, especially the long-standing international summer law school, and its partners in Lithuania. At the same time, the Rector somewhat regretted that nowadays a small proportion of law graduates choose the civil service as the quarrier. He wished the community of the Faculty of Law to contribute to the maintenance of the rule of law with a new breakthrough, in words and deeds.
Some guest also sent videos congratulating the Faculty: Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, the President of the EU Court of Justice Koen Lenaerts, the President of the European Court of Human Rights Robert Ragnar Spano. Representatives of VU SA Faculty of Law also recorded greetings to the lecturers.
The Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen said in the recording: “Lawyers hold one of the most honorable and highest positions of the state, constantly participate in public life, contribute to the creation of a safer, more advanced state, protection of human rights and freedoms. However, the legal profession, like the science of law, is currently transforming. Important changes are taking place in connection with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the development of technology, the integration of artificial intelligence into human life, which poses challenges to ethical, political and legal paradigms. Legal doctrines are increasingly postulating the wider external integration of the legal sciences with the humanities, social sciences, and the exact sciences. A lawyer-craftsman will not be able to solve such complex cases. We need a lawyer-philosopher today.”
“The historical perspective of the 380s must help us first see ourselves, our role in a chaotic world. Who are we, university lawyers? On the one hand, we are servants of law. We are in the guard of certain ideals – democracy, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, pluralism. On the other hand, our own value must be linked to the success of the state as a whole and its society – the extent to which we and our graduates are able to realize the rule of law, the ability to help make fair and sustainable decisions”, said the dean of the Faculty of Law, prof. Tomas Davulis.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the Faculty of Law, remote events-discussions take place throughout the week, during which legal professionals, scholars and practitioners discuss the most relevant legal topics in Lithuania and Europe. You can watch the events on a daily basis in the Youtube account of VU Faculty of Law.