|Abstract (English)|| |
The paper, which was first submitted in writing to a conference on legal education in 2002, made two forecasts.
The first concerned responses of Croatian law faculties to the demands of both Croatian authorities and Croatian universities to adjust the inhereted model of legal studies (4 years of undergraduate studies leading to the diploma in law + 2 years of graduate studies leading to the magister of legal science + ca 5 years of supervised research leading to the doctor of legal science) to the strictly interpreted Bologna model of studies (3 years of pregraduate studies leading to a bachelor degree + 2 years of graduate studies leading to a master degree + 3 years of postgraduate studies leading to a doctor degree). The paper envisaged the following responses (“scenarios”) and identified their conditions:
- the 4 year undergraduate program is left essentially intact but renamed the pregraduateprogram leading to the first academic degree in law (bachelor of laws);
- the 4 year undergraduate program is extended into a 5 year integrated pregraduate and graduate program leading to a single academic degree in law (master of laws);
- the 4 year undergraduate program is reduced to a 3 year pregraduate program leading to the first academic degree in law (bachelor of laws) and supplemented by a 2 year graduate program leading to a combined academic and professional degree in law (master of laws + judicial exam qualifying for both bar and bench);
- the 4 year undergraduate program is extended and divided into a 3 year pregraduate program in law and social sciences leading to the first general academic degree (bachelor of social sciences or baccalaureatus artis) and a 2 year graduate program leading to a combined academic and professional degree in law (master of laws + judicial exam qualifying for both bar and bench);
The second forecast was that the Faculty of Law in Zagreb would develop a cluster of courses and even a whole program (M.B.A.) in business administration to offer to its students what they needed most and to strengthen the already existing Faculty programs in administrative and political sciences, taxation, commercial law and criminal law.
From the Fall 2002, when the main part of the paper was written, till the Spring of 2006, when the paper was first read in public, both forecasts made by the paper prooved to be wrong. The four Croatian university law faculties have managed, with the approval of Croatian authorities and Croatian universities, to respond to challenges of the Bologna process in the way that was considered least probable in 2002: they extended the 4 year undergraduate law program into a 5 year integrated pregraduate and graduate program leading to a single and purely academic degree in law (master of laws). In addition, training of general civil servants is no longer a major propose of the basic law program. Thus the Faculty of Law in Zagreb deprived itself of the opportunity to complete its programs in law, public administration, taxation and social work with a program in business administration, thereby establishing itself as a university of law andsocial sciences.
Extension of the basic law program into a five year program might well be the least of the evils to choose from. However, it will increase costs of the Croatian legal system at the expense of citizens. Future lawyers will be the most injured party when they saturate the market and/or money dries up.