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Remembering Professor Witold Wołodkiewicz

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Remembering Professor Witold Wołodkiewicz

It is with great sadness that we say good bye to Professor Witold Wołodkiewicz (born in 1929 in Warsaw), who passed away on February 13, 2021. He was a world-renowned specialist in the Roman law, in particular the impact of the Roman law on the development of European legal culture. He was also interested in legal humanism, jurisprudence of the era of the Enlightenment, and Napoleonic Code. He was one of the creators of SWPS University’s Faculty of Law in Warsaw, and an active contributor to the Faculty’s development. For his contributions to research and education Professor Wołodkiewicz was awarded a Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Acclaimed Expert in Roman and Antique Law

Professor Wołodkiewicz lived and worked in Warsaw. He graduated with a Law degree from the Faculty of Law of the University of Warsaw (1952), where he later defended a doctorate (1961), and obtained a post-doctoral degree (habilitacja) (1968). He was granted the title of full professor in 1978.

He was a world-renowned expert in Roman and antique law. He passed the breadth and depth of his knowledge to younger generations in a university handbook, which he co-authored, together with his former student Professor Maria Zabłocka.

Professor Wołodkiewicz was passionate about the antique law. He participated in all significant conferences on Roman law and contributed numerous articles to the world repository of knowledge on the subject. His research and views shaped the thought on Roman law among the European legal community.

Professor Wołodkiewcz also enjoyed writing lighter pieces for Palestra, a Polish professional legal publication, established in 1924. His articles sparkled with erudition and astounded readers with knowledge of contemporary legal issues and law education in Poland. Many quotations from his articles in Palestra have entered the professional jargon and served as starting points for many a discussion of legal matters. For many years, Professor Wołodkiewicz was also a practicing lawyer, which allowed him to stay current with contemporary legal issues, despite his passion for the Roman law.

Non omnis moriar – apart from his academic legacy, Professor Wołodkiewicz has left a lasting memento of his life’s work in the form of the Latin maxims carved on the columns of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland in Warsaw, which he selected when the building was erected.

Professor Witold Wołodkiewicz led an exemplary life. He was a very dedicated academic and educator, and he also knew how to enjoy life and share this joy with others. He was a master, a mentor, and a friend, who liked long conversations about law and about life.

Master, Educator, and Role Model

Professor Wołodkiewcz joined the Faculty of Law at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2007. He was one of the Faculty’s founders and a very active contributor to the Faculty’s development. For many years, he was the Head of the Department of Roman Law, where he led many seminars and heated discussions on various aspects and nuances of the law.

He was an acclaimed expert in his discipline but first of all, he was a researcher and an academic teacher, who shaped many generations of young lawyers: students and budding researchers. He truly cared for his students, mentored them, and defended them if the need arose. Many young lawyers owe him a lot.

Professor Witold Wołodkiewicz led an exemplary life. He was a very dedicated academic and educator, but he also knew how to enjoy life and share this joy with others. He was a master, a mentor, and a friend, who liked long conversations about law and about life. He loved travelling, discovering new destinations, and revisiting the old ones.

He will be greatly missed in every aspect of life.

Teresa Gardocka, Associate Professor
Institute of Law, SWPS University
Sławomir Kursa, Associate Professor

Faculty of Law in Warsaw, SWPS University

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