Cor Gutter


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                                      Small steps on a long and winding road

                                         Teaching 'penal law' at Erasmus University Rotterdam

  In 1963, a Law faculty and a faculty of Sociology were added to the 'Nederlandsche Economische Hoogeschool' in Rotterdam, a seaport in the Netherlands. This school came of one founded in that city in 1913, which continued as a faculty of Economics in the Hoogeschool.  

  In 1973, the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam - EUR for short - was founded. The three faculties mentioned above, combined with a faculty of Medicine, established in the same city in 1966, came to compose the new University.  

  This – the seventh in the Netherlands – thus became the latest on the long list of universities in Western Europe that dates back to the AD12th and 13th centuries, and for the (northern) Netherlands to 1575, when Leiden University was founded. At the latter, several of the law teachers getting to work at the new Rotterdam Law faculty had graduated after studying some of the same books, written around AD530, which their predecessors in Western Europe had studied since the 12th century.  

  The founding of the Law faculty in 1963 - later renamed "Erasmus School of Law" - required the appointment of professors for the several 'branches' of Law traditional in such faculties, to wit, civil law, constitutional/administrative law, and penal law (a.k.a. 'criminal law').

  In 1964, Lodewijk H.C. ('Louk') Hulsman (1923-2009) was appointed professor of 'penal law' and 'criminology' at the new Law faculty. In 1965, Cornelis ('Cor') Gutter (b. 1932), like him graduated from the Law faculty of Leiden University, became his assistant for 'penal law'. In 1971, Gutter was appointed 'lector' (reader), in 1980 professor of 'penal law' at the faculty concerned.

  Both thus started to work in a faculty that lacked traditions peculiar to it. This, on the one hand, offered opportunities for 'innovation' and, on the other, risked the resistance any departure from what for ages some had supposed to be 'normative science’ (‘iusti atque iniusti scientia’ (Justinian 533a I,1,10)) was bound to encounter. Gutter left the faculty in 1984, Hulsman in 1986.

  On this site, Gutter left snippets of information on the history of the new faculty, along with some documents published since 1968 on behalf of students – or otherwise related to the study – at the faculty.  

Extradisciplinary explorations

  In the study of 'penal law' as envisaged by Hulsman in 1964, organizational aspects of activities of police, public prosecutors, judges and others in the Dutch State organization were stressed....

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