History – University of Copenhagen

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Faculty of Law > About the Faculty > History

History

The Faculty of Law is a relatively young faculty at the University. It became a separate faculty in 1993 after being a part of the Faculty of Social Sciences since 1970. At the same time, the Faculty of Law is also a very old faculty. From 1848 until 1970, law was part of the Faculty of Legal and Political Science, and before that it was a separate faculty as it is again today. In fact, it was a separate faculty from the founding of the University of Copenhagen back in 1479, when the University comprised four faculties: Theology, Medicine, Philosophy and Law.

From that time and for the next approximately 250 years, research and teaching at the Faculty was only oriented towards international law, more specifically Catholic canon law and Roman law. National law did not develop until about 1700 - when it played a key role in the introduction by royal decree of a university degree in law in 1736. This transformed law into a so-called professional education in that it become mandatory to have a degree in law in order to hold specific types of positions within the legal profession, such as judge or lawyer. This lay the groundwork for close relations between the University and the legal sector - relations that exist to this very day.