The creation of the Faculty of Law at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez was approved by the Board of Directors on September 25, 1989. The first classes were taught in March 1990, and on April 18 that same year, an inaugural ceremony was held, attended by prominent academic authorities, politicians and legal figures of the time.
The Faculty of Law at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez was created in Viña del Mar under Presidential Decree on January 4, 1990, following its approval by University Board of Directors. The first classes were taught in March 1990, and on April 18, an inaugural ceremony was held, attended by prominent academic authorities, politicians and legal figures of the time.
In keeping with current legislation, through an agreement signed at the time, the newly formed Faculty of Law at UAI was examined by the prestigious Faculty of Law of the Universidad de Concepción, and from the early days, a close relationship formed between the two, generating strong ties between both institutions in both an academic and teaching arena. This examination regime was maintained until 1999, when the Ministry of Education granted autonomy to the Faculty of Law for having met all necessary legal requirements.
Starting in 2000, the Law Program joined the new educational model adopted by the university. This established that the study plans for all Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez programs should incorporate a solid general education, through an important core curriculum. The law degree partially adopted this 4+1 model defined by the university.
In keeping with this model, the first four years of the program would correspond to the bachelor’s degree, obtained at the completion of these. The fifth year would grant the professional degree. However, the Law degree couldn’t adopt this regimen because the professional law degree is not granted by the university but by the Supreme Court. The program adopted a model in which the first four years constituted a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with mention in Legal Sciences, which is still granted. This bachelor’s degree does not authorize the student to apply for the degree of lawyer. This requires a bachelor’s degree in legal sciences, and the university requires a five year plan of studies for this. This fifth year has a flexible curriculum that allows students to specialize further in different areas of law.
In 2002, the Faculty extended its undergraduate activities to its Peñalolen campus, where it began to offer its Law Program. For this purpose, in 2003 a small team of full-time regular professors were hired in Santiago, and over time the team residing in Santiago would grow to be larger than those residing in Viña del Mar.
In 2004, the faculty began to publish a critical commentary of all Supreme Court jurisprudence, and the final volume of this was published in 2016.
In 2009, the Law Program introduced important changes. First, it established that the fifth year study plan would be offered exclusively in Santiago. This study plan was restructured, enabling students to specialize in greater depth within a flexible curriculum and to obtain a mention in the areas of criminal law, public law, private law and business law if they accumulated enough coursework in the mentioned areas. With these increased demands, institutionally guaranteed through a unique review committee, upon completion of the fifth year, the degree of Master of Law was conferred upon students who submitted an approved thesis.
The Chilean Accreditation Agency, an institution that responds to the National Accreditation Board (CNA in Spanish), accredited the law degree for 6 years, with its mentions in public law, private law and criminal law. This accreditation, which remains in place until October 2023, is a formal public acknowledgment that the program meets the criteria and standards defined by the Agency, guaranteeing a solid education to its students, in keeping with the requirements of the community around them.
In 2017, the Faculty of Law launched the Latin American Legal Studies Journal: Harmonization of Civil Law in Latin America, a biannual publication that presents original, unprecedented work in both English and Spanish, on miscellaneous legal issues that are relevant for the region, of a philosophical, doctrinaire, comparative or interdisciplinary nature on Latin American legal systems, or rather, a comparison of these to others external to the region.
The Faculty of Law at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez joined forces with the Chilean Institute of Tax Law to organize the First National Tax Law Workshop, held at the Viña del Mar Campus. Diverse professionals in the field attended the event and discussed the new tax challenges of the 21st century, their main difficulties and proposals to resolve these.
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