A journey through time from classroom 10


09 | 05 | 2022


Who were the deans in the early years of School, what were the students and faculty like and what were the challenges they faced. The School of Law held a special faculty seminar on the occasion of its 70th anniversary. A trip back in time from classroom 10 of Amigos Building to learn about the early years of what the School of Law was born as a Law School in 1952.

In the picture

From left to right are: Faustino Cordón, Juan Fornés, Eugenio Simón, José Antonio Doral and Juan Andrés Muñoz.

Professors José Antonio Doral, Juan Fornés, Juan Andrés Muñoz and Faustino Cordón, moderated by Eugenio Simón, tried to reveal how it all began and how they experienced it, first as students and then as teachers. 

Juan Fornés, Full Professor of Canon Law, reviewed all the deans that the School had had. The testimony of Fornés went back to 1957, the year in which he began his programs of study of Law at the Estudio General de Navarra, now the Cámara de Comptos. He cited the figure of Don Ismael Sánchez Bella, who left his position as a professor at the University of Rosario (Argentina) to take on the task of starting the School of Law. Fornés read part of the correspondence in which Sánchez Bella himself notified that the Diputación had granted 155,000 pesetas to start the University. I need 266,500 pesetas, what are we going to do, ask for a subsidy," he asked at the time.

Juan Fornés left the question up in the air, and it was José Antonio Doral who answered a few moments later: "How does this begin? I will say that we all share Don Ismael's optimistic realism", he said.  

In the picture

From left to right, the former deans of the School: Faustino Cordón (1990-96), Juan Fornés (1984-87), Ismael Sánchez-Bella (1952-54 and 1956-62), Francisco de Asís Sancho Rebullida (1962-66), Jorge Carreras (1966-73), Javier Hervada (1973-84) and José Antonio Doral (1987-1990). Behind, a portrait of Ángel López Amo (1954-56).

On October 7, 1952, Ismael Sánchez Bella, Full Professor from History of Law, became the first President of the University of Navarra. He was also the first Dean of the School of Law, from 1952 to 1954 and from 1956, after the death in a traffic accident of Ángel López Amo, to 1962. 

Ángel López Amo was Dean for two years. According to Fornés, who had close ties with the royal family, López Amo was in charge of part of the Education of the then Prince Juan Carlos in San Sebastián, Estoril (Portugal), Madrid and Zaragoza. Fornés also mentioned Francisco de Asís Sáncho Rebullida: "Those who knew him and were fortunate enough to know him well will say that he spent his life doing good", he said of the civil engineer who, years later, gave his name to one of the most important prizes awarded in Spain on Civil Law. He then referred to Jorge Carreras, who took over the Office of the Dean in 1966, in what was a particularly turbulent decade in Navarre and Spain; to Javier Hervada, until 1984 "and then I took over the position being the first student to become the Dean of his School". 

Fornés was followed by José Antonio Doral, Faustino Cordón, Rafael Domingo, Julio Muerza, Pablo Sánchez Ostiz and the current Dean Jorge Noval. "Two historians, two canonists, one civilist, two proceduralists, one romanist, two mercantilists and one penalist. The School will continue to take legitimate pride in being the first-born of this university," he concluded. 

"The School will continue to take legitimate pride in being the first-born of this university" Juan Fornés

In the picture

On the left: seminar of law professors in 1974. On the right: class of Law at Central Building in 1988.

"At School, the transition from student to teacher has always been a natural one", Juan Andrés Muñoz

Students: Course delegates, collaborators, Romano's "questioners", professionals and teachers.

The first year of the Law School began with 48 students and 8 professors. "I have been asked to talk about the students, but the distinction between students and professors is relative, since from the beginning some students joined the faculty early on. It all began with Joaquín Salcedo, from the first class and a disciple of Ismael Sánchez Bella, and in other disciplines Eduardo Gutiérrez de Cabiedes and Juan Fornés, from the sixth class, joined later," commented Juan Andrés Muñoz, professor at Constitutional Law, who was for years director of programs of study at School. Muñoz did not forget to mention those graduates, law professionals, who have also formed part of the faculty of School as associate lecturers: Francisco Javier Fernández Micheltorena (1st year), José María San Martín (2nd year), Jesús Mari Larumbe (14th year) and Francisco Javier Fernández Urzainqui (year ??), to give just a few examples. "In the School, the transition from student to teacher has always been natural", he said. He spoke of the first course delegates and student collaborators such as the magistrate José Francisco Cobo and the teacher Marian Salvador. He mentioned Pablo Sánchez Ostiz, Asun de la Iglesia, Jordi Barrat, Javier Tajadura, Juana Goizueta, Carlos Vidal, Rafael Domingo, Dani Tirapu, Eduardo Valpuesta, etc.

In the picture

On the left: Students at class in 1981. In the centre, students from the first graduating classes in one of the classrooms that were set up in the Estudio General de Navarra. Right: advertisement of the School of Law in Diario de Navarra.

He highlighted the work of María Esther Zaratiegui, a former student and close collaborator of Don Álvaro D'Ors in setting up Library Services at the University. And then he remembered a student, Juancho Montoya, who was General Manager of La Montañesa, and who with his line 1 told countless journeys to his School. 

Juan Andrés Muñoz recognized the work of the "questioners" of Romano, who helped the first year students to prepare and see if they were ready to pass the exam; Estela Llano, as the protector of the Tuna, who was responsible for reserve some budget item to buy a new suit, or two ...; Francisco González Navarro, was the professor of Administrative Law that launched the graduate courses and with the help of José Antonio Doral as Dean, the first Erasmus trips to Reims were organized. The first students of the program who were in the School of Law of Reims were Nati Goñi (now professor of International Private Law) and Jordi Barrat i Esteve (Senior Associate Professor of Constitutional Law).

He recalled the launch of the courses for the over 25s and then moved on to the 1990s, a time with an overcrowded School , which had to house its students at sports center and struggle with the refusal of the public administration at the time to build new buildings at campus. All this in addition to a shortage of teachers. 

In this context, Faustino Cordón, professor at School , took over the reins of Procedural Law, who shared some of his impressions with his colleagues: "Those were difficult years when we were faced with approve the new plan. The Law programs of study went from five to four years. All the professors, including myself, were against it". Cordón then recalled with emotion a meeting about the new plan in which José Antonio Doral stood up and said: "Me, with the Dean". "If there is one thing that characterises the School it is its spirit of unity. We have all been very clear that we are all pulling the same cart, however much it may seem at times, we have been united to solve it". 

"If there is one thing that characterises School it is its spirit of unity. We have all been very clear that we are all pulling the same cart, however much it may seem at times, and we have been united to solve it", Faustino Cordón.

In the picture

Faustino Cordón, Juan Fornés, Eugenio Simón and José Antonio Doral

The Christmas meals, the pupils' parties, the birthdays of all the teachers that are celebrated together, were the topics finally addressed by Eugenio Simón. "I want to emphasise the human warmth that is reflected in any of our activities". Simón closed the session with a video of the former Tuna de Derecho singing Rumours on the balconies and a caption: "Thank you for 70 years of work together".

"I would like to emphasise the human warmth that is reflected in all our activities", Eugenio Simón.