History of the Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law of the University of Basel can look back on a history of more than five hundred years and is the oldest Faculty of Law in Switzerland. Throughout its long history, it has always focused its research and teaching on future legal developments.

In the autumn semester 2008, 1279 students were enrolled at the Faculty of Law, more than in any previous year. Recently, the demands on the professors have increased disproportionately. Although the teaching staff has also been expanded in recent years, it is not easily able to keep up with the administrative workload that has arisen since the Bologna reform.

Increase in the frequency of studies
Between 1990 and 1995 the number of students increased by almost fifty percent. Today, fifteen full professorships are available for teaching, ten of which have a full-time workload. In addition, there are four assistant professorships and around sixty lecturers, among whom the titular professors are also counted. The involvement of assistants in teaching has only slowly established itself over the past decade and it is now impossible to imagine group and proseminar teaching without them. Due to these quantitative developments as well as the introduction of the Bologna system and the associated higher examination numbers, the demands on professors have recently increased significantly. Although the teaching staff has also grown in recent years, this has led to a corresponding deterioration in supervision conditions.

Broader study opportunities
The changeover to Bologna not only brought more examinations, but also new options within the study design. Furthermore, the course is divided into the areas of private law, public law and criminal law. After the Bachelor's degree, in which the basic legal knowledge and methods are acquired, individual accents can be set in business law, administrative law or international law in the Master's degree. Since 2006, the Faculty of Law at the University of Basel has been offering a bilingual Master's programme together with Geneva. It is also possible to study multilingually and across national borders in the EUCOR Master's programme, which is offered by the University of Basel in conjunction with the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg i.Br. and the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg.

Source: History of the University of Basel