History of the Faculty

History of the Faculty

The Faculty of Law has been the leading educational center in Georgia since the day of its establishment. The faculty was gradually extending its activities and increasing the number of its students and professors.

Nowadays, higher education in law is based on the centuries-old national traditions as well as the best practices and traditions of the world’s best performing educational systems. Local and foreign specialists work very hard to provide future generations with the best educational practice.

Raising legal awareness has always been a priority for the Georgian society. The country’s political unification and strengthening, economic growth and development created all necessary grounds for cultural development in Georgia that can perfectly be confirmed by the existence of cultural-educational centers of Gelati and Ikalto.


The second half of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century represent a new stage of higher education in Georgia. The idea about the establishment of the educational system emerged in the XIX century and was realized by Assistant Professor of the St. Petersburg State University, Ivane Javakhishvili. Before the establishment of the University, Ivane Javakhishvili, Petre Melikishvili and Andria Razmadze set up the Board of Professors with the aim to solve the most important issue for the University – defining the faculties.


On November 26, 1917, at the preliminary meeting, the Board decided to set up one faculty – the Faculty of Philosophy. However, the Board had acknowledged that it was necessary to establish at least four faculties in order to have the complete university system. One of the faculties was thought to be the Faculty of Law.


Despite the fact that the University did not have an independent Faculty of Law, the lectures on the history and sources of Georgian law were delivered during the very first semester, in 1918. Furthermore, the economic field, which was one of the means of studying humanities, covered some law subjects such as the state law, laws regulating the conduct of officers and employees of the state, commercial law and the history of Georgian law. Consequently, the establishment of the Faculty of Law was put on the agenda.  


On January 3, 1919, the Board of Professors discussed the proposal of the Minister of Justice to establish the Faculty of Law. The Board had to reject the proposal due to the lack of relevant scientific personnel. However, it decided to establish the faculty in the near future once the University had the necessary resources.


The University began searching for the professionals for the Faculty of Law during the very first year of the University’s establishment. A number of young people were sent to the European universities to receive education. Most of these young graduates returned to Georgia and filled the gap in the University’s scientific resources.


On June 16, 1922, upon the recommendation of the Faculty of Philosophy, the Board of Professors established the Social-Economic Faculty, which comprised social (legal) and economic departments. On June 24, 1922, Professor Shalva Nutsubidze was elected the first dean of the faculty.


By September 1933, the Faculty of Soviet Construction and Law (Dean- Professor I. Surguladze) was already operating at the University. Among the taught subjects, students could select general theory of law, agricultural law, criminal law and the law of Soviet development. From October 9, 1934, by the Rector’s order, the Faculty of the Soviet Construction and Law was renamed to the Faculty of Soviet Law.


In 1935-1936, certain changes were again carried out at the Faculty of Jurisprudence: the Faculty of Soviet Law was renamed to its current name – the Faculty of Law, while the Soviet Law that was the previous name of the faculty, was introduced in a form of the Department of the Principles of Soviet Law in 1977. The Faculty of Law was gradually forming various departments: the Department of Civil Law (in 1922); the Department of State Law and Theory and the Department of the History of State and Law (in 1947); the Department of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminology (in 1984); the Department of Law Principles (in 1989).


From 1955, the University experienced the decrease in the number of students that was reflected in the quantitative indicators of staff units. To be precise, the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Law was cancelled and several departments were merged.


Until 2005, the Faculty of Law had one-step education system, which lasted for 4-5 years. Since 2005, the Faculty of Law has undergone a number of reforms. Particularly, Georgian education system joined the Bologna Process and two-step education system was introduced in the country.