CU awards an honorary doctorate to legal scholar Pavel Šámal

Bratislava, 28 September 2023: Today, Comenius University Bratislava awarded the honorary title of Doctor honoris causa to an internationally renowned scholar and criminal law expert Professor Pavel Šámal. He received the award in recognition of his personal and professional contribution to the education of generations of criminal lawyers and the development of the criminal law studies department at Comenius University.

Pavel Šámal is a professor of criminal law at Charles University in Prague, and a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic in Brno. In the past, he held the position of judge and later president of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic. In Slovakia, he significantly contributed to the drafting of criminal law legislation.

"The work of Pavel Šámal has had a deep impact on criminal law policy in both the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. I am convinced that his influence is deeply felt by the majority of criminal lawyers in Slovakia and will manifest itself through them in the necessary criminal law reforms in the coming decades," said Eduard Burda, dean of the Faculty of Law of Comenius University at the award ceremony.

The accreditation of the Criminal Law study programme was made possible because of Professor Šámal's involvement with the Faculty of Law which has lasted many years. The collaboration resulted in the personal and scientific development of both the faculty of the department, and generations of criminal lawyers. His publishing activity contributed to the development of restorative justice and more frequent use of alternative punishments.

"The law must not be rigid. The requirement for the stability of law does not mean that laws and other legal regulations are immutable, but that laws shall not be changed randomly and on a personal whim - they shall only be changed when such change is required by a necessary, scientifically established objective social need," noted Professor Šámal in his speech.

His intensive body of research work includes over 250 original articles and papers in the field of criminal law and more than 770 citations. His publication activity won him a number of awards.


Comenius University Bratislava awards the honorary title of Doctor honoris causa to important figures of domestic and international life who made significant contributions to advances in education, science, culture, democracy or universal human values, and have personally contributed to the progress of human civilization by propagating learning and humanism. So far the title has been awarded to, among others, the former German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2014), UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2015), internationally renowned microbiologist Ján Vilček (2014) and the 14th Dalai Lama and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tenzin Gyatso (2000).