Letter from the Scientific Director

Vincenzo FerrariOver the past six months, the traditional activities of our Institute went on smoothly and, I dare to say, successfully.

The master course ended in March and our students are now busy with their final theses, which cover a variety of topics and deal with them under a variety of viewpoints and methods. Considering the projects approved, one can be confident that the quality of their final works will satisfy our expectations fully, keeping pace with our traditions.

Fifteen workshops have taken place from April to late July. They offered a terrific chance to go in-depth into a number of subjects of high scientific importance, which also occupy centre stage in social and political debates. A glance to the list of such events, in the following pages, confirms it clearly. We expect that their materials will come to enrich our publications, either as books or as contributions to the Oñati Socio-Legal Series.

The last outputs of our publication department, also listed below, also looks quite impressive. The Institute, and especially its rich library, is permanently attracting visiting scholars from the most diverse countries. Spending a period at Oñati, doing research in the library, living in the residence and enjoying the opportunities that this place can offer seems to have turned into a true option for many scholars, who apply yearly, always more numerous.

We are approaching the thirtieth anniversary of the Institute, founded in December 1988 and inaugurated on May 24, 1989. The steps done since then are impressive. Our achievements are well known within the academia. Many scholars of all ages – some thousands – passed through the Institute and the city over the last three decades. They have given life to the Oñati Community, whose mission is to express the Institute’s mission, strengthen its role and fortify the role of socio-legal studies in a world that sometimes does not seem as receptive as in the past. The Institute will do any possible effort to meet the expectations of this wide group of people that has believed in the Oñati adventure and has contributed marvellously to make the Institute known and appreciated. Among such efforts, research should play a critical role. Multiple social, economic, cultural and political phenomena still need to be studied from a socio-legal standpoint¡. As the international home to legal sociologists, the Institute could become a centre that may stimulate research projects and help researchers to carry them on.

I wish to spend some final words about three members of our staff, who are leaving the Institute just in these days. José Antonio Goyenaga, our administrative director, who managed the Institute brilliantly since its beginnings and helped it to meet the challenges connected with the economic crisis of the last decade, is retiring due to his age limits. The same has occurred with Elvira Muñoz, the founder, great organizer and indeed living soul of our library. Cristina Ruiz, who has performed a marvellous job as responsible for the Institute’s publications, resigned in view of taking on an important job elsewhere. Their contribution to the life and the successes of the Oñati Institute has been invaluable. Thank you indeed, dear friends, and see you again with us in the future.

Vincenzo Ferrari
July 2017