Dr Augusto Zimmermann, our WALTA President and professor of law at Sheridan College, has recently addressed fellow academics and students at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jangiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland.
Speaking as part of the University’s law lecture series, Dr Zimmermann spoke to a packed audience about the Christian foundations of the common law. His lecture proved so popular that the room exceeded its capacity and some students had to stand outside.
Dr Zimmermann used his lecture to speak about the philosophical underpinnings of the legal system known as “common law”. He had an insightful discussion on how this this legal system was originated and it was largely influenced by the moral convictions of lawyers, philosophers and politicians who professed the Christian faith.
As stated by Dr Zimmermann, ‘It is impossible to grasp the historical development of the English law without first exploring its profound religious dimensions, its motivating faith. England’s most celebrated jurists – the likes of Bracton, Fortescue, Hale, Coke, Blackstone et al – often drew heavily from their Christian faith when expounding and developing what are now well established doctrines of the law’.
The Jagiellonian University is a research university in Kraków. Founded in 1364 by King Casimir III the Great, it is the oldest university in Poland and one of the oldest surviving universities in the world. Notable alumni include astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish King John III Sobieski, and Karol Wojtyła (future Pope John Paul II).
Prior to his lecturer, Dr Zimmermann was introduced to the audience by Professor Franciszek Longchamps de Bérier. One of the country’s most renowned legal academics, he is the former Head of Faculty and currently the Chair of Roman Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration at the Jangiellonian University.
The Faculty of Law and Administration, where Dr Zimmermann presented his paper, is the oldest of the Jagiellonian University. In 1364, when the university was established, 8 out of 11 chairs were devoted to legal sciences. At the beginning only courses in Canon Law and Roman Law were available. The Faculty is still recognised as the best law school in Poland, with the best bar passage rates, and one of the finest in Europe.
WALTA congratulates Dr Zimmermann for his successful lecture at this important institution, which can be gathered from both the feedback and applause received after his academic presentation.