History of the Department of Roman Law

Roman law has been taught and studied at the Catholic University of Lublin (hereafter KUL) since 1918 - the year of its foundation. Initially, the course in legal studies covered both secular and canon law. Even the outbreak of World War II and closing of the university did not affect legal education. The professors of KUL, risking their lives, clandestine continued law tuition (including Roman law) in Warsaw and Kielce. After the war, in 1952 the communist authorities cancelled the studies in secular law. At that time Roman law was only allowed to be lectured to the students of cannon law. In 1983 secular law, was resumed as an independent course of studies. At present, Roman law remains central to the first year syllabus.


The Department of Roman Law at KUL has been home to many distinguished scholars and outstanding figures in legal studies such as prof. Jerzy Fiedorowicz, prof. Henryk Insadowski, prof. Wacław Osuchowski, prof. Stanisław Płodzień, prof. Jerzy Grzywacz, Franciszek Wycisk PhD., prof. Zdzisław Papierkowski, prof. Marek Kuryłowicz and Maciej Jońca, Hab. PhD. Presently the Department of Roman Law is headed by prof. Antoni Dębiński supported by the research assistants: Bożena Czech-Jezierska PhD, Izabela Leraczyk PhD, and Karol Adamczewski PhD.


The Department of Roman Law is growing steadily in size and the range of interests. The past extensive research into Roman law, common law, legal history and juristic papyrology are of particular significance. More recently the scientific inquiries of the members of the department have focused on the role of Roman law in shaping the European legal culture, the connection between Roman and cannon law, post classical Roman law, Roman law of obligations, elements of Roman law in the writings of St. Augustine, criminal law and various aspects of Greek laws. 


Fields of research:

  • the impact of Roman law on the juridical order of the Western Church
  • influence of Roman law on the development of canon law
  • Roman law and modern civil law
  • Roman law in the writings and activities of the Church Fathers
  • Roman criminal law