A joint statement
adopted by the participants of the Conference »The Bologna Declaration as a Challenge«, held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Maribor on September 15-17, 2005.
The deans and other representatives of the law faculties from Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Austria and a representative of the Max-Planck Institute from Hamburg have thoroughly discussed the open questions regarding the goals set out in the Bologna Declaration concerning the legal education. The law faculties from the previously mentioned countries hereby adopt the following principles:
1. The Declaration is a challenge for a more qualitative and efficient study of law. Specifically, it will enable the students to finish their studies sooner, but nevertheless possessing a more profound theoretical legal knowledge connected with some training in the profession. It will give the students the ability to start practising their profession in different branches of law without any difficulties immediately after having finished their studies.
2. There is no unified position regarding the realization of legal education. For this reason, each faculty of law will employ a different model of legal education – either the so-called 3-2-3 model, the 4-1-3 model or the 5-0-3 model, taking into consideration the faculty`s own abilities and the legislation of the particular country. However, the participants share the common belief that the degree awarded to a student after the first cycle of the higher legal education is not sufficient for one to perform the demanding legal jobs in jurisprudence, advocacy, or elsewhere, regardless of the cycle`s three or four year duration. In other words, legal education at the university must take at least 5 years.
3. The curricula will need to contain subjects that provide broader legal knowledge in some branches. Additionally, the number of one-semester subjects shall be increased but not at the loss of the number of (lecturing) hours at disposal.
4. National legal associations should adopt documents on the role, the meaning, and the significance of law and legal education in the society.
5. In the future, the students should take an active part in the discussions on the curricula, with a view to being enabled to contribute to a better quality and efficiency of their education.
6. The participants of the Conference agree that there is a need to form various new programmes of additional training for non-lawyers, in order to educate experts in other fields about the fundamental principles of law. Such programs would contribute to a more secure legal system.
7. The partcipants acknowledge the need for faculties of law to make use of their legal knowledge and take an active part in the development of the legal institutions, and to conduct research in the field of law to a greater extent than in the past. Special emphasis should be given to a national legal system and culture of law involved in the process of the democratization and the development of social order in their respective states. In this way, the faculties will contribute to the development of social relations and a accelerated membership of their respectives countries to the European Community.
8. The pariticipants have also emphasized the need for a clear demarcation between law and politics, and the necessity for the legal profession to draw attention to any procedures that are not in compliance neither with the concept of the rule of law nor with the needs of legal security and principles present in the European legal culture.
9. The participants have explicitly expressed the wish that gatherings of the faculties of law similar to this Conference be organized more often, with the object of exchanging the ideas regarding legal education in the countries of the region and enhancing the role of law in society.