"Our aim is to maintain the many positive aspects of tradition while moving confidently forward"
"Our scientific production has grown to such an extent that many of our teaching staff now devote a considerable amount of their time to research"
"We now offer several joint degrees with foreign universities and are one of the few universities in Spain to have signed agreements with institutions in North America"
"It was through the contact with Jordi Solé Tura, who supervised my doctoral thesis, and with other teachers who were heavily involved in the drafting of our constitution, that I, and many others, developed such a strong vocational interest in constitutional law"
Enoch Albertí was made Dean of the Faculty of Law in March 2008. He has been a full professor in constitutional law since 1992 and is the current director of the Constitutional and European Studies research group, which is officially recognized and supported by the Catalan government. Albertí spent a two-year period of study at Bielefeld University (Federal Republic of Germany) in 1982-1984 while preparing his doctoral thesis, and worked as a visiting professor at the European Law Research Center, part of the Harvard Law School, during the 2003-04 academic year. He is currently directing a research project on the constitutional impact of institutional reform in the EU, funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, and a project on the new European constitution supported by the BBVA Foundation. Together with Alejandro Saiz of Pompeu Fabra University, he also co-directs a research project on the new statutes of autonomy in Spain, funded by the Institute of Autonomous Studies, a research centre operated by the Catalan government. He has been invited on numerous occasions to appear as an expert speaker before the Spanish Senate, the Parliament of Catalonia and the joint governmental committee for the EU, as well as other prestigious political institutions.
You specialize in Constitutional Law, an area that has grown in importance in recent years. Why did you choose this specialization, and what would you say today to a young student with similar interests?
I studied law during the period of Spain's democratic transition, starting my degree in 1976. I studied constitutional law, which in those days was referred to as political law, at the same time that our Constitution was being drafted. Here at the UB Faculty of Law we have the great privilege of working with Jordi Solé Tura, who had a direct hand in shaping the Constitution during its preparation. I believe that it was through this contact with Jordi Solé Tura, who supervised my doctoral thesis, and with other teachers who were heavily involved in the drafting of our constitution, that I, and many others, developed such a strong vocational interest in constitutional law. What does the discipline offer students today? I think that, above all, it offers the keys to understanding the architecture of our legal and political system, and to understand the constitutional law of a particular country is to understand the key aspects of its legal and political organization – how they work, and why they work in that specific way. Therefore, a specialist in constitutional law is also uniquely placed to identify the flaws in this system and can adopt the critical stance that all responsible citizens should try to develop, the willingness to instigate debate on how these flaws can be remedied.
What defines the UB Faculty of Law?
We are, in my view, the faculty of law par excellence
. Courses in law, together with studies in medicine, provided the basis for the earliest steps in the foundation of the University of Barcelona 560 years ago, and this long and illustrious history influences every area of our work. Our aim is to maintain the many positive aspects of this tradition while moving confidently forward and adapting to the emerging demands of modern society.
What are the key features of the course offerings at the Faculty of Law?
The Faculty originally offered only a bachelor's degree and a doctoral degree in law. We now offer a much wider range of courses across a range of complementary disciplines, including official bachelor's degrees in criminology, political and administrative sciences, industrial relations, and public management and administration, as well as a UB-specific undergraduate degree in private investigation. We have also developed the research capabilities of the Faculty and now have a large number of researchers working in fields related to the subject areas covered in our degrees. The Faculty now boasts sixteen research groups officially recognized and supported by the Catalan government, which is a testament to the calibre of their work. Our scientific production has grown to such an extent that many of our teaching staff now devote a considerable amount of their time to research. This means that we are able to offer a wide range of degrees that are closely tied to our own research activity, as well as increasing the number of specializations available at postgraduate level. The Faculty currently offers six official EHEA master's degrees and many more UB-specific postgraduate programs, as well as a doctoral program covering areas fundamental to our branch of the social sciences.
What services does the Faculty offer its students?
Looking after students is one of our main concerns, and this can be seen in many areas of our work. For example, this year we have introduced a system through which prospective first-year students can consult a tutor prior to completing the enrolment process, which will ensure that they make informed choices about the courses they wish to follow in the early part of their degrees. We also oversee a wide range of placements in private companies and institutions, including a number of major law firms, and provide students and graduates with a dedicated careers service. The Faculty is involved in an increasing number of Erasmus exchange agreements with foreign universities, reflecting the value we place on the experience our students gain from periods of study abroad and on the positive effect of welcoming students from other institutions. We have excellent library facilities and organize many additional activities designed to encourage student participation, including talks and discussions on important social, political and cultural issues.
What else has been done to foster internationalization?
We now offer several joint degrees with foreign universities and are one of the few universities in Spain to have signed agreements with institutions in North America: Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and the University of Puerto Rico. Students who are willing to extend their studies by spending part of their degrees at one of these universities can now receive official recognition of their degrees under both the European and American systems, which facilitates access to the legal profession on the two continents. We are looking to extend the number of joint degrees available at the Faculty and are also striving to consolidate the international dimension of out research, in part through our involvement in the Strategic Alliance of Research Faculties of Law (SARFaL), a network linking research-intensive law faculties from around Europe.