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Integration as Reception: University of Tartu Faculty of Law Case in 19th Century

Immediately after Estonia's restoration of sovereignty in 1991, political decisions primarily aimed for the restitution of the legal system of the Republic of Estonia that had existed between the two world wars (1918 - 1940). From the standpoint of jurisprudence, it would first and foremost have meant large assignments in researching the history of law. However, subsequent developments demonstrated that the idea of restitution was not decisive in the ongoing reform of law. Thus, even by the time the 1992 Constitution was being developed, continuity was understood not as a model of static restoration and preservation of the precepts of the first Republic of Estonia but rather as dynamic and continuing development. *1 Such a concept of continuity, open to changes, expresses the aspiration of the Estonian legal reformers to integrate as rapidly as possible into the Western European system of law in each legal domain. So it cannot be said that the efforts made to ensure Estonia’s future accession to the European Union were just the idealistic whims of our politicians. In the legal reform of Estonia, the idea of restitution was rather rapidly replaced with the idea of reception. *2 So several primary prerequisites for integration with the political structures of Europe have been created.

It is unthinkable to perform an extensive legal reform that would really aim to change the legal life, utilising solely the amendment of legislation. A legal reform built on the idea of reception demands primarily great efforts in the field of jurisprudence. In an era of reforms, even dogmatic jurisprudence cannot lag behind legislation and confine itself to commenting upon and interpreting laws. Rather its role in legal politics should be to stay several steps ahead of legislative measures and create a secure scientific basis for the amalgamation of legal norms into practical law. Primarily this of course requires the maximum use of the lessons to be drawn from comparative jurisprudence. Here it is not possible to limit oneself merely to a comparison of legislative solutions. This is true even in continental Europe where apart from legislation, legal precedents and also the dogmatic theology of law is of the utmost importance. Thus, the reforming task imposed on Estonian jurisprudence means integration with its Western European counterpart. This, however, requires an extensive process of reception within the science itself.

During its kaleidoscopic 366-year history, the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu has in earlier times also addressed the tasks of reform and reception. A thorough analysis of all the relevant eras is impossible in a piece of this length, so I will confine myself to the experiences of the University of Tartu after it was reopened at the beginning of the 19th century. This period is more suited to closer inspection because two different models of reception followed each other in a rather short time. This allows a brief comparison of their effectiveness against the background of reforming local jurisprudence and legal order.

Reopened in 1802 University of Tartu and Model of Result Reception

In 1802, in Tartu, the Baltic provinces’ own university was reopened, the activities of which had halted in 1710 due to the Great Northern War. *3 In essence it was a German university within the Russian Empire both in terms of its language of tuition and the national composition of the academic corps. This conditioned the primary and most important task of the Faculty of Law – training young lawyers for local provinces with a German-speaking upper echelon. In 1710, the Baltic provinces had been annexed to the Russian Empire through the so-called acts of surrender, the validity of which was confirmed in the Uusikaupunki Peace which entered into force at the end of the Great Northern War in 1725. The content of the instruments of surrender, presented in 1710 by local estates and towns to the emperor for approval and ratification, most resembled medieval election capitulations. *4 Those gave an imperial confirmation of the supremacy of the Lutheran creed, preservation of privileges and rights of the estates and self-government. The latter meant that only the representatives of the local nobility could be appointed to judicial and administrative positions. Only towns, which had their own municipal law, were made an exception. But in towns too, corresponding positions were mostly taken by representatives of the local patricians. As the instruments of surrender ratified the endurance of the existing local law, which had formed over centuries, future practitioners of law certainly needed some knowledge of local law. Throughout the 18th century, when jurisprudence could be studied only in foreign universities, knowledge of local law had to be obtained simply in the course of professional practice. Therefore, the existence of a faculty of law in the University of the Baltic provinces was considered essential, especially as the other universities opened around the same time in the Russian Empire did not have a separate faculty of law. Legal subjects were taught in the faculties of ethics. *5

All the statutes of establishment of the University *6 do contain the expression that the University of Tartu was founded “for the benefit of the entire Empire” but this is stated only in the second order of importance. Of primary importance was that the new educational institution should be for the benefit and advantage of the local provinces. Thus, the aspiration of the founders was clearly oriented towards founding a Landesuniversität for those provinces.

The usefulness of and an extreme need for a local Landesuniversität was also stressed by all those who took the floor at the formal opening of the University on 21 - 22 April 1802. *7 In the sermon dedicated to the event, the pastor of Tartu, Friedrich David Lenz, expressed his great satisfaction at the reopening of the local university. Among other things he also stressed how important it was for a future jurist to obtain knowledge about his domestic law during his studies:

„- der junge Jurist kann von der ausländischen (Universitäten) viel theoretische Kenntnisse der Rechtsgelehrsamkeit mitbringen, aber von den hiesigen Gesetzen, Verfassungen, Proze׭Form und dergl. konnten ihm dort seyne Lehrer nichts sagen. Aber hier auf der einheimischen kann er beydes zugleich lernen, und jedes Amt in diesem Fache mit weit mehrerer Gewandheit übernehmen, die er sich bisher erst durch mühsames Nachstudiren, oft erst im Amte selbst, zu verschaffen suchen muشe.” *8

A great enthusiasm for the opportunities provided by local studies was apparently not enough. Why else was an emperor’s order required to state that henceforth in the Baltic provinces only such persons who for at least two years had studied in the University of Tartu could be appointed to local positions that required legal knowledge. *9 According to the first such order, this requirement was to enter into force two years after the commencement of activities of the University. In the Foundation Deed, ratified by the emperor on 12 December 1802, the deadlines were changed: the mandatory period of studies in the local university was prolonged to three years and the vacation period to five years. *10

In addition to the direct practical benefit, which was to avoid a difficult familiarisation period with the application of local law, the local university was expected to further patriotism. Studying in one’s local provincial university was to contribute to the prevention of alienation which, if studies were wholly undertaken abroad, seemed almost unavoidable:

„Der hiesige Jüngling, der auf einer ausländischen Universität studirte, sieht fremde Länder, fremde Einrichtungen und Gesetze. Unbekannt mit denen des Vaterlandes, (denn welcher Jüngling merkt in dem Alter schon darauf!) lernte er nun von seinem ausländischen Lehrer jene ausländischen Verfassungen zuerst kennen; Welcher Lehrer wird nun nicht die, seines Vaterlandes oder Fürsten vorzüglich erheben und in ein vortheilhaftes Licht stellen? Nun dürften ihm jene ausländische Verfassungen die besten, die beglückendsten, ja die einzig möglichen guten zu seyn. Natürlich muشe sein Vaterland, von dessen Einrichtungen oder Verfassungen er noch gar nichts wuشe, seinem aufdämmernden Scharfblicke nun tief im Schatten stehen, und ihm in vielen Stücken noch ein ganz rohes und uncultivirtes Land zu seyn dünken. Dazu kommt nun noch für unsere hiesige, im Auslande studirende Jünglinge die gröإre Freyheit, die sie auf fremden Universitäten genossen, die angenehmen Verbindungen mit ihren Mitstudirenden, als ihren ersten Jugend-Freunden, der Ton der Fröhlichkeit, der unter ihnen herrschte; alles dies machte ihnen das Ausland zu einem Elysium, wo sie ewig bleiben wünschten, wenn es nur immer auf Kosten des Väterlichen Beutels ohne eigene Sorgen und Anstrengungen hätte geschehen können. Mit dieser Vorliebe fürs Fremde, kehrte nun der rasche feurige Jüngling in sein Vaterland zurück, und hier war ihm alles fremd, allenthalben stieנer an, alles drückte und rieb ihn, alle Convenienzen, Ordnungen und Gesetze seines Vaterlandes, die mit seinem Freyheits-System nicht zusammen paشen, dünkten ihm zu engherzig. ... Vielleicht ist die Seltenheit wahrer ächter Patrioten eine Folge der ausländischen Universitäten ... Vor diesem Schaden sichert uns gewiנeine einheimische Universität. Hier werden die jungen Studirenden zuerst mit den Vorzügen und Vortheilen, mit den wohlthätigen Gesetzen und Einrichtungen ihres Vaterlandes bekannt. Sie gewinnen es lieb, sie fühlen sich glücklich bey dem gedanken, hier geboren zu seyn, hier als Männer einst zum allgemeinen Wohl mitzuwürken.” *11

Pastor Lenz thus clearly expressed his dislike of foreign universities and the effect of tendencies connected with the modern ideas of freedom. In this respect, his speech was not an exception. The first impulse to reopen the University of Tartu as early as in 1798 during Emperor Paul’s reign was directly connected with the emperor’s concern about the ideas of enlightenment which were spreading in foreign universities. The research, made to date, illustrates unequivocally that the two orders of the emperor, given on one and the same day, are interconnected. *12 The first concerned the order to reopen a university for the Baltic provinces and the other contained prohibition against studying in foreign universities. *13

The academic staff of the University of Tartu, however, was not so categorically negative about foreign universities. Even the above-quoted pastor Lenz did not exclude the usefulness of foreign studies. Still the staff found foreign study laudable only after the local university. Then, once love for the homeland was rooted, it would not disappear. And the youth would be able to demonstrate their critical mind about foreign institutions and differentiate those worthy of following from those damaging:

„Mögen sie dann immerhin mit diesen Vorkenntnissen ausgerüstet, mit dieser Stimmung für Vaterlands-Liebe, auch fremde Länder, fremde Universitäten besuchen, so werden sie gewiנschon mit vesterem Blick das gute oder fehlerhafte jener ausländischen Verfassungen übersehen und beurtheilen; das heilige Feuer des Patriotismus wird nie in ihrer Brust verlöschen, sie werden das Gute des Auslandes mit dem Guten ihres Vaterlandes sicherer vergleichen, sie werden die Vortheile, die sie dort etwa bemerkten, auf den vaterländischen Boden zu verpflanzen suchen, und mit warmen Eifer für dessen wachsende Wohlfahrt und Verwollkommnung mitzuwürken streben.” *14

A similar rationale accompanied the resolution of the Academic Council of the University that the biennium (or triennium according to the later order) in the local university was to be undergone by the students of law at the beginning of their studies. *15

So the University of Tartu was opened in 1802 with the hope that this would primarily benefit the Baltic provinces. At the same time, the question of how a local Landesuniversität could prove useful for the whole Russian Empire needed to be answered. Professor of history Georg Friedrich Pöschmann tried to answer this very question. *16 His work may be considered the ideological programme of the new university. At least there is a basis to believe that this was how it was understood by the then directing body of the University, a Board of Trustees formed of representatives of the nobility of Estonia and Livonia, in so far as they organised the translation of Pöschmann’s book into Russian and allocated money from the University’s treasury for publication in Moscow. *17

The main idea of Pöschmann lay in the firm belief that the main task of the University of the Baltic provinces had to become the dissemination of Western culture in Russia. For this historical conditions existed one way or another. Those provinces per sie had been for centuries a part of Western culture:

„Man kann daher schon deswegen erwarten, daנdie neue Universität abendländische Kultur verbreiten nd befördern werde, auch wenn man nicht wuشe, daנdie Lehrstühle dieses Erziehungs-Instituts gröشentheils mit Docenten aus dem Auslande besetzt werden sollten.” *18

The primary duty of the University’s professors was to observe the developments in foreign science and culture and to ensure that useful discoveries and inventions were introduced to the public as soon as possible in the Russian Empire too:

„Die Mitglieder der neuen Universität haben aber ein besonderes und vielseitiges Interesse, die Fortschritte, welche unter den Westeuropäern in Künsten und Wissenschaften gemacht werden, mit vorzüglichen Sorgfalt zu verfolgen. Der Nutzen, den sie zu stiften wünschen, und der Beyfall, durch welchen sie sich selbst einen gröإrn Wirkungskreis verschaffen können, hängen lediglich von der Genauigkeit ab, mit welcher sie den Fortgang der Wissenschaften und die Erweiterung des Gebiets der menschlichen Erkenntnis beobachten. ... Zufolge ihres Berufs, und überhaupt aus der Liebe zu den Wissenscaften, werden sie mit den Gelehrten des Auslandes in Verbindung treten; und nun erst kann ein beständiger Austausch von Ideen, eine gegenseitige Mittheilung von Bemerkungen und Beobachtungen, eine schnelle Bekanntmachung wichtiger Entdekkungen und Erfindungen statt finden. Nun kann die Verbreitung der Wissenschaften nicht mehr von einer bloנindividuellen Neigung, von einem zufälligen Bedürfniנabhängen. Die Schätze des Auslandes werden nicht mehr in den Büchersammlungen der Reichern verschlossen bleiben. Eine ganze Gesellschaft, die die Pflicht auf sich hat, das Reich der Wahrheit und Erkenntniנzu erweitern, wird sich bemühen, die Erzeugnisse des Auslandes auf den vaterländischen Boden überzutragen; und die Zöglinge der neuen Akademie werden die weitere Verbreitung derselben befördern helfen.” *19

According to Pöschmann, the freshly opened University of Tartu was to become a channel via which the achievements of Western European science would flow to Russia. Obviously the idea of a university of reception cannot be defined more exactly. At the same time it must be kept in mind that all the time the talk was of the achievements, discoveries and knowledge of Western culture and science, i.e. of something that other places had already attained, which had already proved their usefulness and necessity in the West. No credence was given to the possibility that the scientists of the University of Tartu might enrich the Western “kingdom of truth and knowledge” with their scientific contribution. Their special contribution was to serve only as a filter. Western science, too, was said to make mistakes and in several cases to have led to quite useless or even dangerous results. Their extraction from the flow of knowledge, promising in view of the public benefit, as well as the amendment of Western know-how to fit the special circumstance of Russia and the Baltic provinces was to prove to be the specific contribution of the professors of the University of Tartu. *20 Thus, the idea of reception of result clearly resounds from the first “programme” of the University.

In the case of the Faculty of Law, a goal put in this way inevitably meant a dual and clearly contradictory task. On the one hand, training of local officers of justice was to become its role. This, consequently, required teaching of local provincial laws in the University. This, however, was contradicted by a requirement that the University of Tartu must primarily be a channel for importation of achievements of Western European science. Unfortunately, no jurisprudent in Western Europe had studied the local laws of the Baltic provinces. As if this was not enough, it had not been properly done in the provinces themselves. Thus, as far as local laws were concerned, a level of thorough revision on which to build a satisfactory teaching system, was missing. And if the task of a professor was primarily to be merely the dissemination of existing knowledge, there was no way that such a system would evolve. This is also confirmed by the situation in the Faculty of Law in the beginning of the 19th century.

What is immediately obvious from the lecture plans of the time is that the professors based their lectures almost entirely on foreign manuals. This, it is true, was not possible with provincial law where such manuals were simply non-existent. In this area, the task of professors of provincial law was relatively more complicated than that of other professors in that they had no option but to gather their lecture materials on their own. A major job in this realm was undoubtedly done by the first professor of the Faculty of Law, Johann Ludwig Müthel, who held the professorship of Livonian provincial law. Nevertheless, he did not manage to write neither a manual on Livonian law nor even publish any single studies. *21 The other professors were no more productive than Müthel, to say nothing of the fact that single courses on Estonian provincial law were read for only five semesters in the period between 1802 and 1814. Only from the second semester of 1814, did Christian Heinrich Gottlieb Köchy start consistently reading Estonian civil law, although he had already held the chair of Estonian and Finnish provincial laws since 1805. Until then Köchy had primarily lectured on subjects that came under the auspices of other chairs, making use of textbooks written by German authors. The professor of Romano-Germanic law, Carl Friedrich Meyer and the professor of positive public and international law, Friedrich Lampe, built their lectures on German texts. Between 1811 and 1814, Johann Georg Josias Neumann, who held the latter chair, also read the subjects covered by his course based on foreign texts. His merits in jurisprudence are first and foremost connected with studies of Russian law and it was in this domain where his activities in the University of Tartu proved fruitful although this is true primarily in respect of his second Tartu period (1818 - 1826).

When speaking of the Faculty of Law of the first decades of the 19th century, one must keep in mind that keeping all courses filled proved an extremely difficult task for the Faculty. By the 1803 Charter of the University, the Faculty of Law was to have four pending ordinary chairs (professorships of public and international law, Roman and German civil and criminal law, Estonian and Finnish provincial law and Livonian provincial law), one extraordinary department (Kurland's provincial law) and one ordinary course (Russian law) to be opened at a later date. The latter, however, was never introduced during the validity of the 1803 Charter (in fact not until the new Charter of 1820). Therefore, in essence we can speak only about the filling of five professorships. This was achieved by the Faculty only during the second semester of 1811, when the University at last managed to attract Professor Neumann to the first professoriate. But by the beginning of 1812, the Faculty was again reduced to only four professors, as Müthel passed away. At the end of the same year, their number further decreased to three because the extraordinary professor of Kurland's provincial law, Friedrich Kasimir Kleinenberg, also died. As a result of dismissals brought about by a promotion scandal in 1817, Professor Lampe was the only professor to stay on in the Faculty. Consequently, there was once again just one professor as in 1802 when Müthel was the only professor of the Faculty of Law.

Adding to its developmental problems was the Faculty of Law’s continuing faith in dictated lectures. A professor would deliver the required materials from the cathedra verbatim and the students would duly write it down in the same style. Obviously such lectures had a braking effect on both sides. The professor did not have a chance to enrich the material, nor was there any need for him to build his lectures on independent studies. As foreign textbooks were anyway what underlay the lectures, in essence a lecture meant that a professor would read out a German standard manual in clear diction. The effect upon students was to discourage independent or analytical thinking. In 1819, Professor Christoph Christian Dabelow arrived in Tartu to take over the chair of Roman private law. After four years of service in Tartu he became convinced that those dictated lectures were the very reason why the Faculty of Law had not yet achieved anything meaningful in the scientific sense and why the students lacked the enthusiasm and diligence so characteristic of German students. *22

Indeed, Dabelow was correct. In the first years of the University, professors of law had written virtually no independent scientific research nor published a textbook of their own. At the same time, the departments of provincial and Russian law referred to the very same lack of textbooks as the reason for preserving with dictated lectures. On this, Dabelow who was renowned as a very prolific author during his long juridical career, asked with good reason: “Why have not Messr. Professors written nor even are writing textbooks on these subjects?” There is however no reason to think that the other faculties of the University of Tartu were more productive than the jurists in terms of scientific output. The early years of the University, which in literature have also been called the “heroic era” *23 were as a whole characterised by lack of scientific activity.

To sum up, it can be said that as far as the Faculty of Law was concerned, the reception of result idea was not very effective. In 1802, when the University was opened, hopes and expectations had been expressed that the new academy would guarantee that young jurists would get a systematic education first and foremost in provincial laws. It was never feasible that a teaching method built on the importation of the scientific achievements of Western Europe could have fulfilled such hopes. Thus, in 1822, Dabelow had to conclude that unfortunately to that date local provincial laws had found no scientific treatment in literature or studies:

„... so muנich leider behaupten, die Provinzialrechte seien bis dahin durchaus nicht wissenschaftlich behandelt worden. Wir haben bekanntlich mehrere recht fleissig gearbeitete und auch brauchbare Schriften über einzelne Partieen des Provinzialrechts von Nicht-Professoren (die Professoren haben bis dahin blos gebrütet, und sind über dem Brüten entweder gestorben oder verdorben), aber ein ächt-wissenschaftlicher Charakter geht ihnen durchgängig ab. Eben so unwissenschaftlich ist der Unterricht im Provinzialrecht bisher gewesen. Man gab ehedem blos eine magere, obendrein einseitige Provinzialrechts-Geschichte, und fügte das Dogmatische der provinziellen Rechts den Vorlesungen über Pandekten, Criminalrecht und Prozeנhinzu, oder wenn man auch etwas unter der besonderen Ankündigung von Provinzialrecht vortrug, so war es im Grunde nichts weiter, also Pandektenrecht mit Provinzialrecht verbrämt.” *24

Breakthrough in Faculty of Law in 1820s. Model of Method Reception

The new Charter of the University of Tartu was ratified in 1820. Treatments of the history of the University mostly proceed from this landmark *25 . With the Faculty of Law, we should in fact speak of a certain transition period that had already begun in 1817 and continued well into the 1820s. *26 When by the end of 1817, the Faculty of Law had just one professor, the then rector, professor of history, Johann Philipp Gustav Ewers, was the one to take care of remedying the situation. He invited the expert on Russian law, Johann Georg Josias Neumann, back from Kasan to Tartu *27 . The best choice apparently made in this transition period was inviting the veteran jurisprudent Christoph Christian Dabelow to Tartu. It was Dabelow who developed the renaissance strategy for the Faculty of Law and started to implement it with the help and participation of his colleagues.

In his 1822 overview of the activities of the Faculty of Law, Dabelow summed up the reasons why foreigners were reluctant to accept invitations to Tartu. The good standing of the University of Tartu was damaged both by the 1816 illegal promotions affair, rumours about the one-time professor of criminal law Wilhelm Snell’s liaison with anti-governmental secret organisations as well as the mistress affair of Professor Karl August Wilhelm Schroeter. *28 Thus lined up, the aforementioned events demonstrate the aspirations of Dabelow. Naturally he wanted to prove that in reality all those repugnant events could be traced back to specific people, and that the University, or even the Russian empire, could not be blamed for them. The professors who had been dismissed, he said, had indeed seriously contributed to their dismissal.

Notwithstanding who or what was to be blamed, the Faculty of Law was still in the construction phase - twenty years after the University was opened. Looking back over the history of the Faculty, we can see that in a sense it was even good. The reformers of the Faculty did not have to waste energy on dismantling any existing, stagnant structures but could immediately start with building up the system. Here too, the direction was pointed out by Dean Dabelow both in his publications and statements to the Council of the University and the imperial curator.

Dabelow believed that the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu could become renowned and recognised by foreign universities if, at last, it started purposefully dealing with independent scientific research. He believed three great domains to exist: research into Roman law on the basis of sources found in Russia hitherto unknown in the West; research into Nordic law and sources thereof; scientific review of the provincial law of the Baltic provinces:

„Für den Ruhm der Juristen-Fakultät zu Dorpat eröffnet sich ein weites Feld:
1) In der Bearbeitung des römischen Rechts, dieses Verbindungsmittels aller gelehrten Juristen in ganz Europa, nach neuen Quellen. ...
2) In der Bearbeitung des nordischen Rechts und seiner Alterthümer überhaupt. Hier ist noch so gut also gar nichts geschehen.
3) In der ächt-wissenschaftlichen Bearbeitung der besondern Rechte der russischen Ostsee-Provinzen. Es giebt hier eine nicht geringe Ausbeute für das ältere germanische Recht, und Veranlassung, sich mit den Germanisten in genauen Rapport zu setzen.” *29

It is striking that Dabelow did not include research into Russian law in this list. This should not be put down to the fact that Tartu did not have sources for proper scientific treatment of Russian law. Just as the manuscriptal source of Roman law unknown in the West had been found in Russian libraries, public and private collections and monasteries, so Russian law could be successfully researched in Tartu as Professor Neumann had shown. It is possible that Dabelow deliberately left the creation of research goals for Russian law in the realm of his colleague, Neumann. Besides, Tartu already had a professor of history, Ewers, who was and still is famous for his research in the oldest Russian law and its sources *30 .

By the Charter of 1820, five regular legal chairs had been formed in the Faculty of Law:

(1) Professorship of positive public and international law and politics.

(2) Professorship of Romano-Germanic private law and practical jurisprudence.

(3) Professorship of criminal law, history of law and history of legal literature.

(4) Professorship of Russian law.

(5) Professorship of provincial law.

Compared with the previous Charter of 1803, the main differences were as follows:

  • The separation of the chairs of private and criminal law. Under the 1803 Charter, they together formed the chair of Romano-Germanic law. The distinction made in the new Charter to a certain extent reflected a characteristic of modern scientific differentiation between various legal disciplines according to the object of regulation of the law branch and not its source.
  • The unification of provincial law under one professorship. Thus, it was already intended, at least in the sphere of academic tuition, to overcome the legal particularism characteristic of local provinces.
  • The department of Russian law was anticipated within the Faculty of Law in the 1803 Charter but was subject to its opening on a later date. It was not opened until 1820 and the expert on Russian law, Professor Neumann, held the professorship of public and international law between 1811 and 1814; after his return to Tartu in 1818 he was appointed Professor of Livonian provincial law and it was only in 1820 that Neumann became a professor of Russian law in the University of Tartu.

    In the beginning of the 1820s, Dabelow also repeatedly considered the characteristics of suitable candidates for senior positions in the Faculty of Law, where such men could be found, and what should be done to prepare them locally. He proceeded from a fundamental belief that a professor should not confine himself to an unaltered delivery of his lectures year-after-year but that his lectures should indeed be built on scientific research. This very same requirement complicated the fulfilment of the Tartu professoriate considerably:

    „Die Dörptschen Lehrstellen sind schwer auszufüllen, wenn man annimmt, dass der Professor nicht blos dazu vorhanden ist, um ein zusammengeschriebenes Heft Jahr aus Jahr ein abzulesen, sondern durch männliche Untersuchung in Schrift und Vortrag wirken woll.” *31

    The first chair, viz. that of public and international law, was to ensure the external glory of the Faculty. But it differed from that of the German universities of the time. Firstly, the syllabus also involved politics, which in Germany could not be found amongst the subjects of the Faculty of Law. Neither was it possible to confine studies to local public law and treatment of international relations of one’s own country. Russian public law was within the competence of the department of Russian law and the public law of a local province could in essence be included only in the history of law of those provinces. In Tartu, the purview of the first professoriate of the Faculty of Law included the public law of all major European countries, the theory and practice of international law as well as diplomacy. Dabelow was sure in one thing at least: a person with extremely diverse and extensive education was a prerequisite for such a position.

    The purview of the chair of Roman and German private law and practical legal theory was also extremely extensively defined. The position required a professor who knew well both Romano-Germanic law and had already served for a long time as a member of a German faculty of law. Through requirements so worded, it seems as if Dabelow was describing himself. At the time he did hold this professorship. Indeed, during his lengthy career as a legal professor and practitioner he had dealt both with Roman and German law. As regards practical legal theory included in the essential qualifications, professors of German universities gained the required knowledge due to the function of a faculty of law to settle practical legal disputes (the so-called Spruchkollegium). Thus, long-serving German professors had usually also had a long career as a practitioner.

    As regards the third chair, that of criminal law, history of law and history of legal literature, Dabelow believed its purview to be an utter failure. On the one hand it called for somebody who had a good and thorough background of both the theory and practice of criminal law. Dabelow believed that knowledge of practice and active involvement in it was the ultimate prerequisite for fulfilling the positions in both private and criminal laws:

    „Das Criminalrecht kann nur überall von einem Rechtsgelehrten zweckmäةg vorgetragen werden, welcher die Theorie zugleich mit der Ausübung verbunden hat. Ein Criminalist, der nie eine Untersuchung geführt, nie ein Criminalurtheil gemacht hat, steht in seiner totalen Untauglichkeit ganz dem Professor der Pandekten gleich, der in seinem Leben keinen Prozeנgeführt oder keinen Prozeנentschieden hat, und daher überall nicht wiإn kann, was von der Maإ des Römischen Rechts noch anwendbar ist oder nicht.” *32

    On the other hand, however, the requirements meant that the same person should be equally experienced in any source of legal history, be it history of Roman, German or canonical law, plus history of legal literature in terms of all spheres of the Faculty of Law. One way or another, the inclusion of history of legal literature in the purview of any chair was complete thoughtlessness. But if it was to be simultaneously a general history of literature, touching upon all spheres and branches of jurisprudence, it made it per se a mammoth subject. Dabelow very much doubted the existence of someone capable of teaching such a subject scientifically and with quality:

    „... z. B. allgemeine Rechtsgeschichte und Literairgeschichte, wenn sie nicht in einem oberflächlichen Raisonnenemt oder einer mageren Bibliographie bestehen sollen, denn der Professor, welcher sie gründlich vortragen sollte, müشe die Kenntniإ aller übrigen juristischen Professoren nicht nur in sich vereinigen sondern auch weit über alle stehen. Der berühmte Rechtsgelehrte Cujaz bemerkte am Ende seiner Tage, daנer nochmal so alt seyn müإ um nur civilistische Literairgeschichte gründlich vortragen zu können, und welche Fortschritte hat nicht seit seiner Zeit die gelehrte Bearbeitung des römischen Rechts gemacht.” *33

    For instance, Dabelow himself thought that he did not have the courage to start lecturing even the history of literature on civil law which then meant primarily the history of literature on Roman law. And this in a situation where he doubtlessly had dedicated a large part of his long scientist’s life to studying Roman law. At best, he believed, it was possible that the professor teaching this subject would just read out the list of books. But here Dabelow posed the reasonable question: “Will it any more be a history of legal literature (as a science)?”:

    „Wie verkehrt ist es nemlich ein Professor der juristischen Literairgeschichte anzustellen. Ich denke etwas im Römischen Recht gemacht zu haben, aber ich gekönne mich noch nicht eine Civilistische Literairgeschichte zu lesen. Hugo der nichts wie Römisches Rechts treibt, hat sich mit seiner civilistischen Literairgeschichte wohl eigentlich prostituirt. Und hier soll ein Professor die Literairgeschichte der ganzen Jurisprudenz lehren. à la Nettelbladt und Koenig läش sich wol ein Bücherregister zusammenstoppeln, aber heiش das Lit. Gesch.?” *34

    Consequently, Dabelow proceeded from the fact that coverage of whole history of legal writing by just one person both in research and teaching was more or less impossible. Therefore he believed in reality there to be only two ways for the study and teaching of this subject:

    (1) just hope for a lucky chance and presume that some time such a gifted person will be found in Tartu capable of achieving something truly scientific in this realm;

    (2) appeal to the University Council and curator for permission to divide the subject between the professors of the Faculty of Law. According to this solution, each of the professors would have taught his speciality plus the history of scientific research into specific legal sources. *35

    The latter version was naturally more sensible and in reality this was what happened.

    One way or another, it is clear that combination of criminal law and history of law and history of legal history into one department meant losses in at least one of those three major domains. In Germany, at least, there was not a single person capable of dealing simultaneously and with considerable intensity with all those subjects. Thus, it was inevitable that a part of this chair’s syllabus would remain an orphan. A good expert in criminal law would neglect history of law and history of legal literature. Somebody dedicated to the last two subjects would lecture criminal law upside down. *36

    In such a situation Dabelow offered, in the name of the Faculty of Law, his solution to the University Council:

    (1) The teaching of criminal law should be included in the competence of the professor of private law. As he had amongst his diverse literary publications some on criminal law, he believed himself to be capable of coping with the teaching of it. Besides, it should be taken into account that a professor of provincial law was anyway to teach local criminal law, and the professor of Russian law, in turn, Russian criminal law. Because in the Baltic provinces, criminal law was primarily based on the latter sources, the teaching of general German criminal law was not so important and did not require such a scope as in Germany. Consequently, the adding of it to the syllabus of the professor of private law would not turn out to be too burdensome for the latter.

    (2) Henceforth the professor of private law was to be exempted from lecturing on the institutions of Roman law as a general introductory subject. Thus, institutions were to remain within the competence of the professor teaching history of law and history of legal literature. In such a way, all introductory subjects would be taught by one person. In case of such a combination, it was possible to assume that there were young promising learned men to be found in Germany who was interested in all of those and who was prepared to deal with such a combination with full scientific seriousness. *37

    Such an idea of re-dividing the departments clearly reflects how the Faculty of Law in Tartu was to fulfil its task in the studies of Roman law. The reunited professorship of private and criminal law was to be held by a mournful German professor, who had dealt with both domains and who had an adequate experience in practice. In brief, somebody like Dabelow himself. This naturally points out the drawback of the solution. Even in Germany, universally learned men of law were not a frequent phenomenon and in fact they had died out together with the generation of Dabelow. In the beginning, however, his idea was feasible. At least as long as he lived and taught. Which he did in Tartu until 1830.

    The second professoriate of Roman and German law, which now was to cover only the institutions of Roman law, general history of law and history of legal literature was prescribed for a young scientist with a lust for research. It was primarily on his shoulders that the discovery of then unknown sources of Roman law in Russia and their introduction to the Western audience was to rest. Consequently, the professoriate was to be designed so that the Faculty of Law of Tartu could have its explorative say in the domain that united all the Western lawyers – scientific study of Roman law. After a failed attempt to attract Ludwig Wilhelm Anton Pernice from Halle to this professorship, Dabelow managed in 1824 lure Walter Friedrich Clossius from Tübingen to Tartu. Clossius had already on earlier occasions proved his interest in sources of Roman law. Namely he managed to unveil in the Milanese Ambrosian library a hitherto unknown manuscript with fragments of the Kaiser Theodosianus code. *38 As he had already won recognition into the eyes of Roman jurists with publicising them, it was naturally tempting to him to be able to find some hitherto unknown manuscripts from Russian libraries. During the years spent in Tartu (1824 - 1836), Clossius managed to make long trips in Russia and study many libraries there. A rather perfect overview of the then situation of Russian libraries could be made on the basis of his correspondence with Russian monasteries and private and public libraries. *39 Unfortunately, Clossius did not manage to publish many of the results of his studies. *40 The grand overview for Western scientists on the manuscripts available in Russia, Iter Rossicum, contemplated by him, was not completed even in manuscript.

    However, the role of young Clossius in Tartu was not just limited to studying Russian libraries. He also in a sense had to be the teacher and pathfinder for the youth who had chosen to major in Russian law and provincial law and were, in future, to hold the respective professorships.

    As regards the professorship of Russian law, the holder of it was in reality to start shaping his special research area into a proper teaching system. Dabelow too emphasised that knowledge of Russian, the constitution and legislation of Russia was not enough. In addition to all this, the professor of Russian law was to have a sharp critical eye in order to unite single parts into a systemic whole. *41 Professor Neumann was undoubtedly the recognised authority in the University of Tartu as regards the study and teaching of Russian law. He was the first one to offer students a chance to hear lectures about Russian law in the Russian language. *42

    For Tartu, as a university of the Baltic provinces, the professorship of provincial law of course held a special importance. With this professor, the versatility required was even higher than with all the rest. As is obvious from what has been said above, Dabelow was justified in his belief that provincial law was still not yet scientifically studied. More important was his attempt to answer the question of how such a study should be performed. *43 In other words: what a future professor of provincial law should start doing (in 1822, this professoriate was still not fulfilled)?

    Scientific treatment of provincial law was complicated by its miscellaneous sources plus territorial particularism. All this was due to the very kaleidoscopic history of the Baltic provinces and the abundance of different legal sources and their interrelations brought along by it. Dabelow described the contemporary situation in the legal practice of the provinces as a large soup pot where something good and tasty could be picked out by anybody:

    „Das besondere Recht der russischen Ostsee-Provinzen ist eine Mischung aus den heterogensten Quellen. Mag die vergleichung eines alten Schriftstellers mit einem Topfe, in welchen die verschiedenartigsten Ingredienzen zusammengeschüttet sind, und in welchem Jeder sich seinen Bedarf heraussuchen mag, für unsere Ohren noch so undelikat klingen, etwas Wahres ist doch unstreitig an der Vergleichung. Das “Suchet, so werdet ihr finden,” trifft freilich hier meistens zu, es ist nur die böse Sache, dass, wenn man gefunden hat, das Gefundene nicht zu dem Uebrigen passt, was doch von einer ächten Mixtur verlangt wird. Zwar weiss auch oft genug der Arzt nicht, was zusammen passt, aber er wird erst jenseits controllirt: den Juristen controllirt man schon diesseits.” *44

    In this mess, the question that needed to be answered first was what provincial law was and of what it was composed. Dabelow tried to define it as a special historically-developed law of the Baltic provinces where Roman and general German law (gemeines Recht) in turn played the role of subsidiary law to which must be added the laws enacted specially by the Russian empire for the Baltic provinces. On the other hand, Dabelow absolutely excluded the applicability of philosophical natural law in local provinces:

    „... diese Provinzen werden von einem besonderen Rechte beherrscht, bei welchem das römische und germanische aushilft, und zwar zu diesem besonderen Recht gehörig, in sofern es sich davon handelt, den Umfang des besonderen Rechts zu bestimmen, sonst aber, und in sofern man zwischen principaliter und in subsidium geltenden Recht distinguirt, davon wieder geschieden. Schweigt auch dasselbe, so tritt das allgemeine und russische Reichsrecht also Entscheidungsnorm ein. ... es sey denn, dass die Anwendung mit der bestätigten Verfassung durchaus incompatibel wäre, oder die Natur der Sache die Anwendung nicht gestattete. Ein besonderer für diese Provinz gegebener Ukas ... würde unstreitig mit in das Gebiet des provinziellen Rechts zu siehen seyn, wenn er auch gleich ebenfalls im ganzen russischen Reiche gelten sollte. ... Eine Entscheidung nach Willkühr, oder sogar nach einem philosophischen Naturrecht (das ich bekanntlich überall nicht statuire), kann ich in solchen Fällen nicht gelten lassen: der Analogie will ich dagegen herzlich gern ihren Platz einräumen.” *45

    In this medley of laws, nobody had created a scientific order or developed scientifically grounded implementation rules. For centuries, provincial law had developed purely through practice, although there were some established rules on how to implement different legal sources and how to avoid their collision. Nevertheless those rules needed to be reviewed scientifically and critically. Creating a scientific system and clarity from the heterogeneous muddle of provincial law had to become the first and most important task of the future professor of provincial law. Only such a scientific treatment could provide the local provincial law with a literary lining comparable with German jurisprudence, which would keep arbitrariness in legal practice at bay:

    „Ueberall ist unbegreiflich, wie die Sache so lange ohne wissenschaftliche Behandlung und ihr folgende Gesetzgebung hat bestehen könnene, und nicht eine völlige Gesetzlosigkeit und Willkühr eingetreten sind: an der letzteren fehlt es indess nicht, und man muss sich zu dem, was man in Deutschland das Polster der literärischen Trägheit nennt, zu der - Praxis hier gewiss noch gratuliren, die, sey sie auch noch so schief, doch immer einige Regeln liefert. Die Analyse des besonderen Rechts der russischen Ostsee-Provinzen stellt uns dasselbe also ein Chaos der ungleichartigsten Dinge vor, welche ein schaffender Geist erst entwickeln, reinigen, zusammenfügen und beleben muss.” *46

    Immensely extensive requirements on such future creative spirit and his preliminary knowledge rose out of the heterogeneous nature of the very same provincial law. Earlier sources (13th-16th century), which all through different subjection treaties had as formerly maintained their validity, required knowledge about the older Germanic law, canonical law and, in the case of Estonia, about the older Danish law. Inclusion of Kurland and Livonia in the Polish state in the 16th century meant that the scientific review of the sources of the time prerequired knowledge of the then Polish constitutional order and law. Swedish reign in Estonia and Livonia up to 1710 required, in turn, insight into the constitution and law of Sweden. Precisely the same requirements arose in connection with the Russian government which for Estonia and Livonia started in 1710 and for Kurland in 1795. Consequently, insofar as just command of corresponding foreign languages (Latin, Low German, Danish, Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish, Russian) was concerned, the eligibility criteria for scientific treatment of sources of provincial law were in fact enormous.

    With all this, what undoubtedly strikes the eye is that in essence we are talking about the history of provincial law. Thus, one could ask “Why would a professor of current provincial law deal with sources from the 13th century?” The solution to this question was hidden in these very instruments of surrender. Upon incorporation of the Baltic provinces to the Polish, Swedish or Russian states, they had been assured that the existing law would remain in effect. Consequently, there was to be little new legislation, certainly not on the initiative of the provinces themselves. What could be added as new was the law enforced on the initiative of the corresponding states because the instruments of surrender contained the so-called Majesty clause. Dabelow who, having been a disciple of Daniel Nettelbladt, had a good background in demonstrative jurisprudence could not, in his heart, approve such an inevitable connection with the historic development, but, in provincial jurisprudence, he could not but accord with it:

    „Den russischen Ostsee-Provinzen ist bei ihrer Unterwerfung nicht ein Rechtszustand bestätigt worden, den sich die Provintialen selbst zu machen für gut finden würden, sondern der hergebrachte. Unter solchen Bedingungen wurden sie auch von Polen und Schweden übernommen. Ein hergebrachter Rechtszustand ist der, welcher sich völkerrechtlich legitim gebildet hat, und wobei der Jurist nicht darnach fragt, ob er nach hocherleuchteten philosophischen Ansichten auch wohl legitim sey. Es ist auszumitteln, was bestand also wirliches und unbestrittenes Recht zu Anfang einer jeden Periode, und was wurde davon in der folgenden Periode abgeändert, und wie war nun wieder das in die neue Periode übergehende Recht beschaffen. Um diese Ausmittelung mit Glück unternehmen zu können, ist tiefes Studium der vaterländischen Geschichte nicht blos erforderlich, sondern er muss dieses Studium auch besonders auf das Rechtshistorische gerichtet werden.” *47

    Thus, the nature of potential provincial jurisprudence was determined by the instruments of surrender of 1710 - in the first stage of development at least this science could by its nature only be legal-historical. The so-called philosophical legal dogmatics or legal dogmatics motivated by natural law was of no avail in this respect. But in order to start developing dogmatics, motivated by history, first the initially effective or special provincial law was to be distinguished from rights effective on a subsidiary basis:

    „Die reine und unvermischte Behandlung der Provinzialrechte ist also das Erste, was ich von einem wissenschaftlichen Bearbeiter postulire. Bekümmere er sich allein um das prinzipaliter geltende, und sondere solches Scharf von dem zur Hülfe geltenden ab. Eine zweite Anforderung geht auf die historisch dogmatische Behandlung des prinzipaliter geltenden Provinzialrechts, statt der bisherigen philosophischen, oder wenn man lieber will, chaotischen.” *48

    Already the very requirement of making a clear distinction between main and ancillary law reminds one of the beginning of historical jurisprudence when Gustav Hugo and Johann Friedrich Reitemeier set forth the demand that clear distinction must be made between law of Roman or German origin. But the fact that Dabelow had more in mind than Hugo or Reitemeier becomes obvious from his demand that dogmatics motivated by legal history should be developed. A setting forth of such a task in the beginning of the 1820s could within the German cultural space of the time mean only a call for following the track of the historical school. And indeed, in the first, historical stage of developing the dogma of provincial law, one had to proceed from the method of work of the historical school in order to distinguish between the still effective law:

    „Ich würde diesen Theil des Provinzialrechts den historischen, oder vielmehr den rechtshistorischen nennen. ... mit ächt-rechtshistorischen Kunst, etwa in der Manier eines Eichhorns und Savigny gearbeitet werden müsste. ... Der rechtshistorische Künstler hebt heraus, was zu seinem Zweck erforderlich ist, und deutet das übrige entweder nur an, oder übergeht es ganz mit Schweigen. Seine Hauptaufgabe ist die geschickte Zusammenstellung des Rechtszustandes am Schlusse einer jeden Periode und Ausscheidung des noch gültigen von dem nicht mehr geltenden. ... Ich lege auf diesen historischen Theil des Provinzialrechts ein besonderes Gewicht, denn durch ihn allein kann das Chaos geordnet und belebt werden.” *49

    Thus, Dabelow in his programme proceeds from the idea of making the Faculty of Law more scientific and for establishing provincial jurisprudence, from the idea of reception. However, it is not any more the reception of result, as could be observed from the goals set in 1802. Dabelow called for the reception of method. In his opinion, the local professors were to obtain in Germany the work methods consolidated as the modern trend of the historical school and apply them to studies of local and Russian law. It was in this sense that young Clossius had to fill his role as a teacher amongst his colleagues not much younger than he. Clossius was the first professor in the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu who belonged to the historical school scientifically led by Savigny. What is also symptomatic is that the first book published in Tartu on Roman hermeneutics, or as we say today, on teaching of legal methods, was written by Clossius. *50

    Just as Savigny rejected a simplistic dealing with the history of law, but rather believed the ultimate goal of jurisprudence to be a systematic task, *51 the same was contained in Dabelow’s programme on formation of provincial jurisprudence. In the first phase of work, resorting purely to research into the history of law, it had to be clarified what had affected local provincial law. This very same clarity was the essential basis for fulfilment of the task of systematisation that was to follow:

    „... wird man zugleich in den Stand gesetzt, das System des noch geltenden Rechts wissenschaftlich zu begründen und auszuführen, und dies System selbst macht den zweiten Theil der wissenschaftlichen Bearbeitung des Provinzialrechts aus. Dieser zewiter Theil des Provinzialrechts, welchen ich den dogmatischen nenne, obgleich er ... auch nicht rein-dogmatisch seyn darf, enthält das noch gültige Provinzialrecht, wie es durch den Scheidungs-Prozess in dem rechtshistorischen Theile gewonnen worsen ist, rein und unverfälscht.” *52

    Dabelow's rationale as to why even such systematic or dogmatic part of provincial law could not be purely dogmatical was also completely in keeping with Savigny's historical jurisprudence. While the prerequisite legal historical stage of work consisted of the study of the external history of law, during the shaping of the system, internal history of law also had to be addressed. Only through doing so was it possible to attain a principle suitable for serving as the basis of systematisation, called the “organic principle” by Savingy, *53 and the “spirit of laws” by Dabelow:

    „Es giebt fast keine Lehre des hiesigen Provinzialrechts, welche in dem dogmatischen Theile richtig entwickelt werden könnte, wenn sie nicht zuvor mit dem historischen Theile in Verbindung gesetzt worden ist. ... Bei der dogmatischen Entwickelung selbst darf man es an der sogenannten inneren Rechtsgeschichte, oder wie ich die Sache nenne, Dogmengeschichte, um so weniger fehlen lassen, als sich aus dieser nur allein der Geist der Gesetze richtig darstellt.” *54

    Thus, the programme for future development of provincial jurisprudence as a branch of science and learning existed. What was quite another question was who could undertake this Herculean task. In 1822 when Dabelow's article was published, there were two other professors in the faculty: Neumann, who we already mentioned, and Friedrich Lampe. Like Dabelow, neither of the two was an expert on local provincial law. Lampe was the only one who had read parts on Estonian provincial law. But this was not included in his duties as he was the professor of public law and thus he had plenty of other things to keep him busy within his own area. The same naturally applies to the remaining two. Consequently there were only two possibilities of filling vacant professorships:

    (1) invite a professor from Germany;

    (2) to make the best efforts so that the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu would at least start preparing its scientific personnel.

    As already demonstrated by the experiences of the first decades, the first option was difficult to implement or just did not yield the desired result. In the beginning of the 19th century, renowned German jurists were already so highly paid that they were not in the least interested in moving over to a Russian provincial university. Besides there were political (example of Professor Snell) or even religious obstacles. Thus, for instance Dabelow claimed that of the renowned scientists Karl Joseph Anton Mittermaier would be the only one likely to accept the invitation to the University of Tartu. But he could not be invited because he was a Catholic. *55 Young and inexperienced private docents did not meet the eligibility criteria arising out of the purview of Tartu's chairs of law as Dabelow believed.

    Consequently, the second option was what remained - to take care of the training of subsequent scientific generation which was well in keeping with the aspirations of the Russian central government. As early as 1820, the imperial curator, Prince Carl von Lieven had announced that the University of Tartu had to present its proposals on the training of future instructors in Tartu and on their number in the faculties in order to have the vacancies filled. *56 The question so posed completely concurred with the prescript of the then Dean Dabelow concerning the options to fill the vacancies. One thing that Dabelow was convinced of was that future professors could not be prepared according to the departmental parameters envisaged in the University Charter. This belief primarily concerned the professorates of criminal law and history of law. So the faculty concluded that it was capable of ensuring such a training in the following subject matters: positive public and international law, Roman law, German law, general criminal law and procedure, Russian law and provincial laws. History of law and history of legal literature as well as practical legal theory were dropped. We already talked about the problems and possible solutions in relation to the first ones. Practical Legal Theory was in turn a problematic area. It was included in the duties of the professor of private law. He could, as was said, prepare future practitioners but not his successor to the same professorship. Practical legal theory could be obtained only though long-term practice. At its best, the University could just offer general theoretical bases of practice:

    „Für die practische Rechtswissenschaft glaubt die Juristenfacultät gleichfalls nicht, ... daנes ihr gelungen würde, junge academische Lehrer zu bilden. Der Professor des bürgerlichen Rechts welchem die practische Rechtswissenschaft mit übertragen ist, vermag wol Geschäftsmänner zu bilden, aber keinen jungen Gelehrten welche in dieser Hinsicht wieder an seine Stelle träten. Um practische Rechtswissenschaft lehren zu können, bedarf es auإr der tiefen Theorie eine langjährige Übung als Richter Sachwald und Mitglied eines Schöffenstuhls. ... Wäre die hiesige Juristenfacultät nach dem Beyspiel der deutschen Facultäten ein SpruchCollegium, in welchen solche junge Docenten als Beysizzen eingeübt werden könnten, so lieإ sich die Sache machen. Aber so kann alle von der Facultät ausgehende Bildung nur eine rein theoretische, oder gemeinpractische seyn.” *57

    Consequently, in preparing its next scientific generation, the Faculty had to confine itself to just the five above-cited domains.

    At the same time, the substantive principles from which to proceed were defined. Corresponding training could be performed provided a separate seminary was formed. Only those were accepted to the seminary who had already completed a general academic course at the University. For admission, one had to sit an examination both in fundamental subjects (Fundamental-Kenntniإ) as well as in the part of jurisprudence the applicant planned to major in. Whether lectures could be held by a seminarist during his studies was to be completely at the Faculty’s discretion. A faculty could grant such permission provided that a manuscript of the planned lectures had been presented to it for review and approval. The length of studies in the seminary was to last until the young person joins the academic staff of the faculty as a professor. But the faculty could appeal for the status of a private docent for the seminarist if it considered him worthy of it. The funds for sustenance of seminarists and remuneration of their lectures were to be allotted from the general University budget on account of the vacancies of the faculty. As regards the form of study in the seminary, it had to be as flexible and diverse as possible, include both individual and group work, independent essays and conventional studies under supervision of professors. The faculty, however, considered the best form of work to be individual research work under supervision of an experienced professor. *58 According to the plan, the future seminar was to become a scientific oasis, in which the Humboldtian ideal about the unity of research, teaching and learning would be implemented in the best way.

    However, a great “but” was hanging over all those beautiful plans. Independent scientific research called for corresponding literature and, in jurisprudence, for sources. In Dabelow's opinion, in 1820, the University library was very poorly supplied with legal literature and primarily with source editions. Therefore, the first prerequisite for the success of a scientific corps was extensive complementation of the library, first and foremost of source publications. The central government of Russia granted the corresponding request of the Faculty and apportioned in 1821 an amount (3,000 roubles) for purchasing legal literature and sources for the library. *59 So this obstacle had been removed. In any case, by 1824 Dabelow was able to compare the volume legal literature of the Tartu University library with that of Göttingen and Berlin. *60

    A separate seminary for the training of young instructors was, however, never formed. But the Faculty obtained vacancies for private docents. Those were filled with young men who in the beginning delivered lectures under the supervision of a senior colleague. Thus, for instance Alexander v. Reutz started to teach Russian law in 1825 under the supervision of Professor Neumann, Friedrich Georg v. Bunge started teaching provincial law the same year under the supervision of Professor Dabelow. In addition to giving lectures, young men had the time and vigour to research into their subject matter. Both Reutz and Bunge won the Demidov prize. Reutz's textbook on the history of Russian law *61 became the most widely used textbook in Russian universities. Bunge is remembered in the history of jurisprudence primarily as the founder of the science of the local laws of the Baltic provinces. *62 In that it is remarkable that Bunge carried out Dabelow's 1822 programme practically in every detail in researching provincial law and eventually in the codification of local private law.

    In the 1830s, the majority of the professors of the Faculty of Law were of local origin and so it remained until the beginning of Russification in 1889. Filling vacated positions was not too difficult any more. There was always a reserve of private docents who were disciples of the Faculty. Lectures that were given on the basis of foreign textbooks had become a rarity. Dabelow's idea to build the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu on the reception of method had proved to be fruitful and justified. In the second half of the 19th century, some jurists of Tartu (August Michael Bulmerincq, Carl Magnus Bergbohm) became leaders in general German jurisprudence. Thus, due largely to the reception of method the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu managed to integrate itself into the jurisprudental discourse both of the Russian Empire and Western Europe.

    Apparently there is no sense to make a long summary, as the intent of the author should be absolutely clear by now. In our current legal reform based on the reception of Western legal culture, the reformers must bear in mind that a mere reception of results might not ensure integration. Just like the real reception, integration is a creative process which requires active contribution from the receiving party. *63 Communication and communicational ability are the conditions precedent of integration. In its course, it does not matter so much what is said but rather how something is said. In order that Estonian jurisprudence had its say in international jurisprudential discourse, it must first master its method of functioning.

  • pp.130-141