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Within Central Europe

Since ancient times, the territory of contemporary Vojvodina has belonged to the central European cultural circle. The original Austrian and Hungarian laws were in effect on this territory for a long time. Up until the 19th century, the larger part of the territory was part of several Hungarian provinces (counties), which had high levels of independence in relation to the central government in Vienna in terms of legislation, administration and judiciary. Austrian law was in effect in the territories which bordered the Ottoman Empire. It was on this territory that the Military Frontier (Vojna krajina, Militärgrenze) was formed, which was directly controlled by the Vienna Court, namely the Royal War Council (Hofkriegsrat).

The conditions for a gradual shaping of a legal tradition and for a more substantial education of the local corps of jurists were achieved towards the middle of the 18th century. It was at that time that the civil class (bourgeoisie) took up the political struggle for the autonomy of certain urban and trade centers. The loosening of the grip of Austrian control took a relatively long while and cost enormous amounts of money. Thus, in 1748, with the Liberation Charter of Empress Maria Theresa, the settlement of Petrovaradin was proclaimed a free royal city under the name of Neo-Planta (Novi Sad, Uj-Videgh, Ney-Satz), following a payment of 80,000 Rhein forints to the royal treasury as a, so-called, war contribution. Nevertheless, the act of liberation was of great significance for the commercial and cultural development of the city, as it was for the development of legal thought in these parts. The city was granted the right to organize local government, and to use it to exercise the regulative, administrative and judicial functions on its territory. The Charter provided the right for citizens to elect twelve senators and a judge for the Magistrate (Magistratus), as well as other city officials. The Magistrate had a very broad jurisdiction. magistratOn one hand, it was the highest organ of local government, and on the other, a judicial body that decided in civil, both litigious and non-litigious cases, and in criminal cases. The Magistrate was authorized to make judgments on the basis of legislation, practice, which had become customary in free royal cities, and in accordance with city regulations. This was an important fact for the development of law on the territory of Vojvodina. By upholding crown laws, the magistrate remained faithful to the fundamental principles of state law, while in all other aspects it created its own practice, relying on local regulations and the habitual rules of the domestic population. In so doing, a unique legal system that exacted particular expert knowledge was gradually created. The license to undertake the well-paid occupation in legal profession implied not only knowledge of state regulations, but local regulations, legal and practice and even the customs of the various nations that lived and worked here, as well (The wider territory of today's Vojvodina was populated by Hungarians, Serbs, Germans, Slovaks, Czechs, Romanians, Ruthenians, Bulgarians, Armenians, Greeks, Tzintzars, as well as newcomers from the far corners of the Hapsburg Empire, meaning Italy, Spain, and France, evidence of which can be found in certain surnames and toponyms). In these circumstances, the prestigious title of City Senator was reserved for the citizens of Novi Sad, especially those with the education in law. Not surprisingly, the most prominent families of Novi Sad soon began sending their children to study law.

Similar changes transpired in other parts of Vojvodina as well, following the emancipation of Sombor (Zombor) in 1749 and Subotica (Maria Theresiopolis) in 1779, as free cities of the monarchy. Since then the need for educated lawyers became more evident in many communities.

Education at European Universities

Generations of lawyers from this region were educated at universities all over Europe. Many of them completed their studies in Pest. However, there were those whose thirst for knowledge led them even further: Kezmark, Vienna, Graz, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Haidelberg, and Berlin... Some were even educated at several foreign universities, changing their place of residence each year in order to hear and witness the lectures of as many famous European thinkers as possible. In addition, along with law, many studied philosophy, gimnazijahistory and political science.

Lawyers from these parts were also well versed in various languages. Along with German and Hungarian, which were official languages in Austria at that time, they spoke the languages of other nations that lived and worked in towns and cities of Vojvodina. Due to such a varied education, educated lawyers became leading figures in social life, as well as national educators.

Legal Practice

Educated lawyers were appointed to key positions in the City's administration and judiciary. In the beginning they were elected as senators of the Magistrate, positions from which the highest city officials were elected: city judge (iudex), and the mayor (magister civium, Bürgermeister). Later on, when education became more common, law graduates began taking on other occupations, such as public notary, etc. The entrusting of city administration positions to law graduates greatly increased its efficiency. Soon enough, administrative and judicial proceedings were significantly shortened, along with a growing citizen confidence in the legal system. On the other hand, such high officials were well rewarded for their work. For example, senators and city judges were entitled to a percentage of the collected fines, a part of the tax paid by new arrivals for their citizenship (taxa concivilitatis), etc. For this reason, work in the administration was considered a kind of privilege. On the other hand, because of all this, the city received the most educated and capable officials.

Legal education gained even greater social significance following Maria Theresa's Decree on the Legal Profession in 1769. Up until that point, the representation of clients in front of the state administration bodies and the high courts was performed by poorer noblemen, priests, and other such dignified figures, many of whom did not have the proper professional training. Under the Imperial decree, the task of a barrister could only be carried out by those with a law degree and a successfully completed Bar exam, and only after they had been sworn in by a proper government agency. This regulation was in effect throughout the Empire. In southern Hungary, this decree led to the creation of a distinct class of lawyers, within which the leading figures were Serbs. This was the result of a number of circumstances. First of all, positions in the county administration and judiciary were reserved for Hungarians, who gladly chose state service, since it offered more security and a solid income. Other law graduates, among them Serbs, were obligated to face the challenges of a private law practice. Only four years after the issuing of the Decree, the first Serb lawyer, Jovan Muškatirović of Senta, was sworn in. Soon enough, a number of his compatriots joined the profession. Towards the end of the 18th century, in Novi Sad, Jovan Ostojić (1728), Petar Nešković and Arkadije Popović (1796), Jefta Jovanović (1798), Georgije Konstantinović (1799), and Jovan Kamber (1799) opened their law offices. This was also largely caused by the fact that administrative and legal proceedings were conducted in Hungarian. Since southern Hungary had a predominantly non-Hungarian population, the majority of clients were attracted by those who aside from Hungarian spoke the client's native language. Since the largest number of new arrivals were Serbs, it is understandable that Serb lawyers became the most common. On the other hand, Serb lawyers also represented other nationalities since they were acquainted with their culture, customs and language. It is even recorded in literature that towards the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, Serbs held a leading role in the lawyer circles in Pest. The prominent figures among them were Teodor Pavlović, Mihajlo Vitković, Jovan Rakić, Georgije Damjanović, Evgenije Đurković, Filip Višnja, Sima Ignjatović, Sima Filipović, Pavle Kojić, and others.

Legislative work of Lawyers from Vojvodina in Serbia

Lawyers from the territory of today's Vojvodina were firmly linked with Serbs who lived under Turkish rule. This was partly the result of the fact that Serbs living on the territory of the Ottoman Empire enjoyed numerous privileges in the Austrian empire, including an extremely significant right to trade on the border region. In undertaking these tasks, Serbian traders greatly relied on their compatriots in Hungary. This cooperation was important for a multitude of reasons. Not only did it bring about the material enrichment of Serbian traders, but it also contributed to the development of a distinct class which would by the beginning of the 19th century have enough influence to lead the struggle for Serbian independence from Turkish rule. Moreover, Serbs from Hungary, through business contacts and personal friendships, had a substantial educative influence on the leading figures in their native homeland.

jovan-hadzicMany Serbian lawyers in Hungary considered their duty to actively involve themselves in the struggle for independence, and later in the cultural regeneration of Serbia. During the First Serbian Uprising (1804-1813), Teodor Filipović (also known by his pseudonym Božidar Grujović), the esteemed lawyer from Austria who received his law degree in Pest and for a while taught the History of Law in Harkov, joined his compatriots in Serbia. Historical documents have recorded his commitment to rebuilding of Serbia on the basis of written law. However, as the First Serbian Uprising had been quelled, his ideas were never realized.

A few years later, with the Second Serbian Uprising (1815-1830), Serbia gained a high degree of autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. However, there was no real progress on the legislative front. The legal system had for years been based on the archaic customary law, which gave Miloš Obrenović (the leader of the uprising and later Prince) the opportunity to rule on the basis of a patriarchal society. This system of government was severely criticized by Serbian intellectuals in Hungary, especially those in legal affairs. Some of them considered the situation hopeless without expert assistance from abroad. A leading proponent of this opinion was Maksimilijan Simonović, a Timissoara lawyer who translated the Austrian Civil Code from German to Serbian in the 1820’s, and then adapted it to the circumstances of Serbia at that time. The manuscript was supposed to be printed in Vienna in 1828, but the author never obtaineded the approval from the War Council.

A year later, on the order of Miloš Obrenović himself, legislative work commenced. The first phase entailed the translation of foreign codes into Serbian. In 1830, the Legislative ("Law Giving") Committee was formed. The committee members were charged with selecting provisions from foreign codes which would suit Serbia at the time, and writing up a draft for civil code. In the beginning, while working on this, the committee was using a poorly translated version of the French Code Civil (translated by Georgi Zachariades, a Greek), as well as other equally unprofessional translations. It was impossible to develop a sound legal text out of this sort of material. Even after several years of work, the committee was still unable to propose a solution. So, in 1836, the Prince requested the Austrian government to permit Vasilije Lazarević, the mayor of Zemun, and Jovan Hadžić, a senator of the Novi Sad Magistrate, to cross over into Serbia and help in the drafting of a law code. Austria granted Miloš Obrenović's request. Not long afterwards, Vasilije Lazarević began working on the penal code, and Jovan Hadžić on the civil code. In his four years of work on this project (1838-1842), Hadžić developed a draft which was basically a shortened and to some extent altered version of the Austrian Civil Code. The alterations were so insignificant, that with the adopting of Hadžić's draft in 1844, many considered Serbia to be entering the circle of nations based on Germanic law. Jovan Hadžić was also one of the main editors of fundamental laws that applied to the legislative, administrative, and judicial bodies: the Council, Prince's Office, the central government, district courts and court of appeal. According to Slobodan Jovanović, a renowned professor of the Belgrade Faculty of Law, Hadžić was the most prominent figure in Serbian legislative history, as he set the basic foundations in the fields of public and private law.

Lawyers from Vojvodina as lecturers at foreign universities 

Lawyers from these parts left a significant mark in the field of legal education during the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of them are considered founders of certain academic disciplines at foreign universities. For instance, it is recorded that in 1810, Gligorije Trlajić, a professor of law in St. Petersburg, published a textbook of Civil Law with a comprehensive introduction on the encyclopedia and the history of law, which, according to Odessa Professor V.I. Grigorovič, laid the foundations of Russian civil law doctrine. Up until that point Russian experts in civil law were mainly educated at specialized professional seminars for private law in Berlin, as well as other foreign universities.

sterijaLawyers from Vojvodina contributed substantially to legal education in Serbia. They were the authors of the first lecture programs, as well as the first professors at the law department of the Kragujevac Lyceum, which is considered as the predecessor of today's Belgrade Faculty of Law. The greatest amount of recognition was given to the renowned Novi Sad lawyer, Jovan Raić, on the recommendation of Jovan Hadžić. In 1840, Raić was invited to Serbia, without a customary competition process for department professors, to propose a concept of legal education. Historical sources reveal us that in 1841 Jovan Raić published his first textbook of law for the Lyceum. However, his career as a professor did not last very long. He only taught a "Police" course for one academic year, 1841-1842. A much more significant contribution was given by Jovan Sterija Popović, a well known writer and lawyer from Vršac, who was elected professor of Natural Law on the basis of a formal competition in 1840. What he left behind was around sixty academic works and generations of lawyers whom he taught in his own subject and Civil Procedure. Moreover, Sterija was one of the founders of a number of Serbian cultural institutions: the Serbian Acedemic Association (which later became the Serbian Academy of Science), the National Library, the National Museum, the first Belgrade theater (the so-called Đumruk Theater) and others. Ignjat Stanimirović of Subotica, who taught Statistics and Criminal Law, and Đorđe Petrović who taught Political Science, were also among the first generation of professors at the Lyceum. When Jovan Sterija Popović was appointed Minister of Education, Sergije Nikolić of Novi Sad, took over the lectures in Natural Law. He later went on to teach Administrative Law, "the Police," and the German language.

Demands for the establishment of a Law School in Vojvodina

Despite the rich legal tradition created by generations of skilled law practitioners with experience in practical, academic and educational work, Vojvodina remained without a law school for quite a long time. The well established civil society was prepared to provide all necessary conditions for the establishment. However, the approval of the state was missing.

The initiative for the establishment of the school was taken up by Serbian intellectuals during the mid-18th century. At that time, Serbs within the Habsburg monarchy retained unique privileges which were regulated and protected in Vienna by the so-called Illyrian Royal Office (Hofdeputatio in Transsylvanicis, Banaticis et Illyricis). In 1774, Jovan Muškatirović, an attorney, Teodor Janković Mirijevski, a reformer of the Serbian educational system, and Marko Đurković Servijski, a well known charity worker, brought forth the first official request for foundation of a university, which would include studies in theology, philosophy and law. Initially, it is written, the request was accepted. However, since the Hungarian Royal Office (Cancellaria Regia Hungarica Aulica) insisted otherwise, Vienna quickly withdrew its approval. Serbian intellectuals received the news with disappointment, but they continued the political struggle for the school's establishment. tekelija-2

The conditions did not change significantly up until the mid 19th century. At that time, Europe was enveloped by a wave of protest against the outdated feudal order, and the Habsburg Empire was not spared. During the revolutionary year of 1848, Serbs proclaimed a Serbian Vojvodina at the May Assembly held in Sremski Karlovci. It was not recognized by the central government, but in 1849 the Dukedom of Serbia and Tamiš Banat (Vojvodstvo Srbija i Tamiški Banat) was established. The region got significant concessions from Vienna. Primarily, the Dukedom was exempted from the Hungarian legal system. Instead, Austrian law remained in force there up until 1860. Isidor Nikolić, an attorney, was given the task of organizing the work of the local administration and judiciary as High Commissioner. The District Court was formed in Novi Sad, with Jovan Hadžić as its president. However, the Dukedom remained without a right to establish a law school. This matter was brought to the attention of the highest government officials by Serb intellectuals on a number of occasions. One of the most notable initiatives was in 1854, when patriarch Josif Rajačić, proposed the establishment of a Serbian university, which would include studies in theology, medicine, economics, as well as a law faculty (facultas iuridica). Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected.

The Dukedom was abolished in 1860, but Serbian intellectuals continued to strive for the establishment of the university. During the following year at the Announciation Assembly (Blagovestanski Sabor), it was proposed to establish the School of advanced learning along with the already existing grammar school in Sremski Karlovci. Another initiative soon originated from Matica Srpska. In 1861, at a commemoration for the 100th anniversary of birth of Sava Tekelija (first Ph.D. in law at the Pest University, and the founder of the "Tekelijanum," a fund which provided resources for the education of gifted Serbian students in Pest), it was proposed that a law academy (academia iuris) should be established in Novi Sad. The initiative gained wide public support. Bishop Platon Atanacković purchased a building intended for the law academy in the center of Novi Sad, which was later on named after him as "Platoneum." Great contributions were also given by numerous Serbian benefactors. One of them was the well known Belgrade merchant, Ilija Milosavljević Kolarac (the great patron and founder of Kolarac National University in Belgrade), who once lived and worked in southern Banat. He also founded a special fund at the Matica Srpska for the future academy. However, as it came to be seen, most of the effort was fruitless. The Serbian initiative never received support from central government.

Following the Compromise of 1867, which transformed the Habsburg Empire into a dual monarchy named Austro-Hungary, the territory of Vojvodina found itself under Hungarian rule. In the next few decades, requests for the establishment of the school became more infrequent, which was obviously the result of government's previous denials. In 1906, even the request of the prominent Hungarian politician Lajoš Močari, for the establishment of a university in Novi Sad, was not approved.

The Faculty of Law in Subotica

Vojvodina received its first university level institution for legal education only after the First World War, with the establishment of a new state – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (from 1929. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia). Motivated by political reasons, the central government decided to establish the Faculty of Law in Subotica, culturally and economically the most developed town in the province, placed at very Hungarian border. Novi Sad intellectuals were firmly opposed to such a decision, considering Novi Sad the proper university center of Vojvodina, with its rich cultural tradition, favorable location, etc. However, the higher interests of the state were to prevail, as the Law Faculty of Subotica was founded on February 2nd, 1920. This advanced school made part of the Belgrade University. Its lecturers were appointed by the Minister of Education, upon the proposal of the Academic Council of the Law Faculty in Belgrade. Later on, the Faculty of Subotica would get a certain degree of authority in the selection of teaching staff. Nevertheless, the Academic Council of the Belgrade University remained the highest authority. This body elected all lecturers and proposed their appointment to the competent Minister. The idea of creating an independent University in Vojvodina was rejected for political reasons. It was considered that the three-tribe nation would be satisfied with three university centers (Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana).

The first lecturers at the Subotica Faculty, on the basis of the decision of the Law Faculty Council in Belgrade, were: Milutin Miljković, Ph.D., a full professor of Criminal Law (and the first Dean), Milorad Nedeljković, Ph.D., an associate professor of Economics and Finance; Čedomir Marković, Ph.D., an associate professor of Civil Law, Grigorije Vasiljevič Demčenko (a full professor from Kiev University), a part-time professor of Criminal Law and Encyclopedia of Law (nowadays Theory of State and Law); Sergije Viktorovič Troicki (an associate professor of Odessa University), a part-time professor of Canonic Law and Ivo Milić, Ph.D., (head of the District Court in Subotica), a part-time professor of Roman Law. All other courses were lectured by professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Law for a certain period of time.

The curriculum at the Law Faculty of Subotica commenced on March 23rd, 1920. The first generation of students consisted of 124 full-time and 40 part-time students. The following year, the faculty already had 500 students. The majority were young students from other sections of the kingdom, as well as from abroad. According to official information, 124 students were from Serbia; 53 were from the "Old Serbia" (Kosovo and Metohija and the region of Raska) and Macedonia; 103 were from Montenegro; 21 from Srem; 4 from Bosnia and Herzegovina; 14 from Dalmatia; 4 from Boka Kotorska (the southwest of present day Montenegro); 10 from Croatia and Slavonia; 1 from Slovenia; 3 from Zadar; 2 from Istra; 53 from Russia; 7 from Romania; 1 from Czechoslovakia; 1 from Greece and 89 students from Vojvodina. Over time, ever more students from Vojvodina enrolled the faculty.

The Law Faculty of Subotica ceased operating in 1941, with the beginning of war on the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Up until that point, the faculty had admitted 4,416 students, 1,450 of which had graduated. From these figures it is easy to conclude that the Faculty left a deep trace in the legal history of Vojvodina. For a good twenty years, new generations of lawyers were formed in its halls. However, the Subotica Faculty of Law did not only boast numbers, but the fact that its students went into practice with solid knowledge of the profession and legal culture. This was mainly due to the high-quality lecturers. It was also quite significant that lectures in Subotica were at times conducted by the renowned professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Law: Dragoljub Aranđelović, Slobodan Jovanović, Živojin Perić, Teodor Taranovski, Božidar Marković, Čedomilj Mitrović, Ninko Perić, and others. The quality of lecture and the general reputation of the faculty was also contributed by a group of Russian professors: Sergije Troicki, Grigorije Demčenko, Mihailo Čubinski, Pjotr Struve, and Mihail Koršunov. They arrived in Subotica as well-trained researchers and professors with a teaching experience, which they achieved at esteemed Russian universities, up until the October Revolution. During the first few years of the faculty, this group represented the main core of teaching staff. Finally, the success of the faculty in education and academics, can be attributed to the fact that the teaching staff of the Belgrade Faculty of Law was prepared and educated in Subotica. Numerous Belgrade professors began their careers as associates at the Subotica Faculty of Law. Most arrived in Subotica after having received doctoral degrees at elite universities in France, Germany, and other European countries, with fresh knowledge, enthusiasm, and the need to prove themselves individually. This is the path taken by Mihailo Konstantinović, Đorđe Tasić, Borislav Blagojević, Nikola Stjepanović, and other coryphaei of Yugoslav legal science, who left an immeasurable contribution to the education of Vojvodina lawyers.

While keeping all of that in mind, the Subotica Faculty of Law also had a number of deficiencies. At that time, Vojvodina had a quite unique legal system, in many respects quite different from the law applied in other parts of the Kingdom. For this reason, there was a legitimate need for a greater number of lecturers to be from Vojvodina. However, this was not the case in practice. This in turn led to a substantial gap between lecture material and the practical knowledge which was needed for work in the judicial and attorney systems of Vojvodina.

Court of Cassation in Novi Sad

kasacioniIn 1918, at the time of unification of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes into one kingdom, there was a distinct particularism in practically all fields of law. In accordance with the principle of legal continuity, the regulations in force at the moment of unification continued to be applied throughout the Kingdom. More significant changes came about simultaneously with the revitalization of the basic functions of the new state. Initially, state authorities began enacting uniform regulations in the area of public law. Public law issues were a priority for a good reason. A uniform framework in this area of law was of special significance for the preservation and normal functioning of the unified state. While awaiting the unification of civil law, the Civil Law Code of 1844 was in effect in the territory of Serbia (including today's Macedonia); in Montenegro it was the General Property Code of 1888; in Slovenia and Dalmatia it was the Austrian Civil Code as amended in 1914, 1915, and 1916; in Croatia (without Dalmatia) and Slavonia it was the Austrian Code without the mentioned amendments; in Bosnia and Herzegovina it was the Austrian Code in matters of property, while matters of family law and law of succession were regulated by church cannons and customary rules for Christians, and Shari`ah laws for Muslims; on the territory of Međumurje, Prekomurje and present day Vojvodina (without Srem, but including a part of Baranja) it was the Hungarian customary law and judicial precedent (with the exception of administrative units of Pančevo, Kovin, Bela Crkva, Titel and Žabalj, which once belonged to the Military Border, and in which the Austrian Civil Law Code was applied). 

In Vojvodina, the Hungarian legal heritage was changing constantly. Immediately following the unification, certain regulations, which clashed with state interests were abrogated. Some of the inherited regulations were occasionally supplemented, amended or derogated by legislative and administrative acts of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia). This is how Vojvodina adopted a private law system which differed from both the Hungarian legal heritage and the laws which applied in other parts of the Kingdom. Thus, in 1920, a special unit of the Court of Cassation (unit B), with a wide scope of authority, was formed in Novi Sad. It would hand down decisions having the nature of a precedent, similar to those of the former Hungarian Royal Curia in Budapest.

Due to the specific role of the Court of Cassation in Novi Sad, an original system of private law was developed in Vojvodina over time. It regularly followed the dynamics of social changes and in a large degree managed to satisfy the needs of private law practice. However, the application of private law was quite complex. It entailed a strong knowledge of numerous decisions which were never officially codified. Some of them were handed down decades before, by the Hungarian Royal Curia, which made them even more difficult to find. Furthermore, these decisions were rendered in quite different historical circumstances, for another place and another time. The rules which they contained, quite often did not suit the existing conditions, and were therefore modified. For this reason, the problem of interpretation was especially pronounced. In order to bring sense to the previously made decisions, lawyers from Vojvodina had to refer to the appropriate commentaries, which were written in Hungarian and German. Besides, they regularly followed the post-war judgments of the Budapest curia, which were formally not binding, but, which pointed possible direction of development of various legal institutes. All these efforts did not remain without results. Lawyers from these parts became very well acquainted with foreign languages and foreign legal systems. Additionally, they were also well-trained in interpretation techniques. For all these reasons, the judicial practice in Vojvodina was the leading one even in post-war Yugoslavia.

The Bar Association

Due to the complexity of private law in Vojvodina, in most cases, clients were obliged to seek professional help. Consequently, law practice became one of the most respected and well-paid occupations. In time, a powerful class of lawyers developed in Vojvodina. Its members often formed professional associations in order to sustain the level of professionalism and to protect other class interests.

cb-komoraIn southern Hungary, since the 1870s, associations were formed in certain counties. It is recorded that on January 1st, 1875, the Bar Association for the Bač-Bodroš county was founded in Subotica. This association ceased to exist, once the Bar Association for Banat, Bačka and Baranja was formed in 1921, with headquarters in Novi Sad. The first president of this association was the Novi Sad attorney, Stevan Adamović.

The Bar Association exerted a great influence on the legal practice in Vojvodina. With the practical work of its members, it greatly affected court practice and the formation of private law in Vojvodina. Of special significance was the professional magazine entitled, "The Bar Newsletter for Banat, Bačka, and Baranja," which was first published in 1928. Within its pages, numerous decisions having the nature of a precedent, especially those of practical significance for lawyers and judges, were published and commented on.

The Bar also took an interest in the state of the judicial system in Vojvodina. It is recorded that already at the annual meeting in 1922, the Bar came to conclusion that the number of judges should be increased and that the work of deed registries should be organized in a more efficient manner. In 1926, the Bar Association's Board of Directors submitted a petition to the Minister of Justice, seeking that the vacant position of President of the Appellate Court be filled with a judge acquainted with the law of Vojvodina.

The Bar Association for Banat, Bačka, and Baranja for decades brought an immeasurable contribution to the creation of an efficient legal system, and in general to raising of the quality of legal practice in Vojvodina. Its work was halted by the occupational government in 1941. Its tradition would be carried on by the Vojvodina Bar Association following the Second World War but in a very different atmosphere. In 1946, a law proclaiming all laws enacted before April 6th, 1941 and during the enemy occupation null and void, provided that legal practice and opinions of courts and other state authorities of the former Yugoslavia could not be the foundation for interpretation and application of legal rules. With this provision, the Vojvodina private law system was abolished.

Post-World War II Period 

Following the Second World War, the Subotica Faculty of Law was never re-opened. For years Vojvodina remained without an institution of higher learning that would offer legal education. The initiative for the establishment of such and institution was taken immediately following the war, but was not realized until a decade after.

The Establishment of the Novi Sad Faculty of Law
The Beginning of Educational Work

izgradnja-univerzitetaThe parliament of the People's Republic of Serbia adopted a law on the foundation of the Novi Sad Faculty of Law on July 20th, 1955. It was provided in this act that the faculty would be a part of Belgrade University, and that the teaching staff was to be elected by a special University Committee. It was also written that until the Faculty adopted a statute of its own, it would follow the Belgrade University curriculum of studies. The Belgrade University Council elected the following members to the University Committee: Professor Milan Bartoš, Ph.D., Professor Mihailo Konstantinović, Ph.D., Professor Miloš Radojković, Ph.D., Professor Borislav Blagojević, Ph.D., Professor Dragoslav Janković, Ph.D. The first lecturers at the Novi Sad Faculty of Law were: Tihomir Vasiljević, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Procedure, Aleksandar Magarašević, Ph.D., Professor of International Public Law, Karolj Đetvai, Ph.D., Professor of Civil Law, Miloš Stevanov, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in Family and Inheritance Law, and Ljubiša Milošević, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in Law of Obligations. Additionally, two part-time associate professors were elected: Andrija Zador, Ph.D., at that time a judge of Supreme Court of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, for the course in Civil Law, and Ivan Melvinger, Ph.D., the Province Parliament Secretary, for the course Introduction to Law. Lectures in other subjects were assigned to professors and lecturers of the Belgrade Faculty of Law, which for years had contributed to the establishment of the Novi Sad Faculty of Law and in its drive for independence.