The vision of MEF University Faculty of Law is to establish a free and creative environment of education, thought and research; based on universal values, protection of academic freedom, justice, and equity.
The mission of MEF University Faculty of Law is to educate lawyers with a sound understanding of justice and a strong sense of social responsibility. Students are expected not only to learn the legal rules in force but also to understand the general principles of law, think analytically and critically, and adopt an objective approach. Our aim is to support creative, innovative and versatile students and researchers.
Some professions have a direct influence on fundamental principles like freedom, equality, and justice; and are closely related to ethical values. It is thus important that the education for such professions also pay regard to ethical values.
While practicing law, the priority of a lawyer should be professional ethical values and lawyers should always strive to ensure justice and equity. The practice of law brings forth significant consequences which influence people morally and materially. Restrictions upon liberty and other fundamental rights also come into question. It is thus crucial that throughout their education, young lawyers be given a solid understanding of professional ethical values, a strong sense of justice and equity, and the ability to think and act objectively.
Considering the significance of these values that law should respect, faculties of law have the inalienable mission of instilling an understanding of equity and justice, and respect for fundamental values. As MEF University Faculty of Law, we aim to observe justice and equity as our profession requires, in all stages of our curriculum and legal training.
We have meticulously established our structure so that the graduates develop a sense of justice and equity, and a strong understanding of law; are able to create legal rules and are creative in applying them; have a strong command of general principles of law along with a knowledge of classical fields such as philosophy of law, legal history, and comparative law which provide an academic background; build an understanding of national and international legislations and legal systems; and are open to progress and improvement.
There is a growing need for diversity and change in education as a result of developments all around the globe, the pace at which international relations have evolved, and the fact that Turkey’s commercial interactions with several different states have improved thus increasing our connection with a high number of States and cultures including but not limited to Europe, China, Japan, Russia and Africa. From now on, our lawyers are required to know international law, and develop an understanding of the legal systems in other jurisdictions.
Increase of interaction in fields like commerce and tourism has undoubtedly reflected on law as well. As direct communication between different States has increased, the number of legal disputes with an international aspect and international legal rules also raised. In the last century, communication media such as the internet has allowed intercultural and cross border communication without physical displacement and hence brought about an increase in social and commercial relations. Problems that arise in these contexts trigger not only a broader application of international law but also the creation of common legal rules.
The close relationship between different states and legal persons therein has attributed a character of common law (ius commune) to the Community Acquis and human rights treaties. Such legal instruments which are accepted internationally highlight the importance of knowledge of international law.
Since the end of 20th century, globalization has restructured the world in social, economic, political and cultural terms. The resulting increase in cross cultural communication has made it necessary for the students to learn foreign languages. Our graduates need to have a good grasp of foreign languages in order to understand legal rules, doctrine and practice in different jurisdictions and consequently to be able to play a part in disputes involving foreigners in Turkey or disputes abroad.
As a consequence of reception of the laws of different European States, Turkey has always had a close connection with countries like Switzerland, Germany and France in terms of legal science and doctrine. Despite this movement of reception, English has become the dominant language in international relations in Turkey as well as in the rest of Europe and all around the world.
Pursuant to the latest developments, in order to allow our students to practice law in a variety of jurisdictions and to improve themselves professionally, we have decided to establish a curriculum where the language of instruction is 30% English. This decision has been approved by YÖK (The Council of Higher Education), and MEF University Faculty of Law has become one of the few Faculties with such privilege; demonstrating our devoutness towards education and the strength of our academic structure from the very beginning.
Thanks to their strong grasp of English, our graduates will be able to represent Turkey abroad in international relations regarding matters of public law, actively and efficiently. They will also have the opportunity to practice law in international private law contexts.
Our curriculum primarily aims the student to take the compulsory courses in adequate depth. On the other side, the curriculum is enriched by a variety of eligible elective courses so that the students have the opportunity to build the necessary background in accordance with the career they plan to have.
In addition, for the entire program, we have carefully taken into consideration the basic and significant educational requirements such as the Bologna Process, a credit system that is in harmony with different academic programs around the world; coherence between compulsory and elective courses and variety thereof; realistic determination of credits regarding the number and duration of classes and their workload; maximum credit equivalence; and sufficiency of number of classes.
Recent practices such as internships, legal clinics and moot courting which enrich the legal education and aim to develop the students’ ability to apply legal rules have all been integrated into elective courses.
Moreover, although it has not yet been widely implemented in Turkey, it has long been accepted that legal education should include courses that focus on the improvement of language aptitude and ability of self-expression. We seek to enrich our curriculum with elements of arts, cinema and languages in order to develop the students’ ability of analytical thinking and self-expression; and to become more creative in the practice of law. In order to realize this, our curriculum provides elective courses entitled Law and Cinema; Art of Eloquence in the Legal Profession; Law, Literature and Arts. Such courses have intentionally been included as electives and were placed within the program in a balanced way. In some Faculties, educational uniformity has been compromised and practical problems have occurred in the implementation of such courses as compulsory. We give students the opportunity to elect such courses and aim to include them at the same level within the program without impairing uniformity while maintaining diversity. We are of the opinion that such tools of education should be presented in the form of electives, thus allowing the students to be more aware of their preferences about their future instead of forcing them in a particular direction.
Our curriculum has been thoughtfully prepared in consideration of the indispensable elements of classical legal training along with the courage and motivation to follow innovations resulting from conditions of our times.
From this point of view, we aspire to educate young lawyers who will duly put their knowledge in practice and become respected professionals wherever they chose to practice law; in national or international level, in public or private sectors; without any distinction. We invite to our Faculty all students who intend to have a qualified and prestigious legal education and who would like to become competent and just lawyers who respect the value of equity.
Prof. Dr. Havva KARAGÖZ