A Lecture by Prof. Sima Avramović Opens a Series on the Serbian Civil Code and Jovan Hadžić
The 8th of November, 2019, marked the beginning of a series of lectures at the Forvm Romanvm Club, dedicated to a double anniversary – 175 years of the Serbian Civil Code (1844), and 150 years since the death of its legislator, Jovan Hadžić (1799-1869). The first lecture of this cycle was given by our Prof. Dr Sima Avramović, and the subject was “The Serbian Civil Code and its Adversaries: Causes and Motives”. He told us how the adoption of this Code unfolded, and who criticised the work that Hadžić had done on it, in different periods – starting with his contemporaries such as Vuk Karadžić and Pavle Šeroglić, through the first commentator on the Code, Dimitrije Matić, and Nikola Krstić, who was meant to do a revision of it, but the project was cancelled, and up to more recent renowned Serbian and Yugoslavian civil law experts, such as Živojin Perić, Andra Đorđević, and Dragoljub Aranđelović. Explaining the particular areas of the Code that each of these critics had put under scrutiny, and individual reasons they had to do so, Prof. Avramović went on to show that most of the objections to Hadžić’s work were objectively related to things that were by no means his responsibility, and that some of the negative attitudes were passed on to later authors without real critical evaluation, in spite of their lack of factual foundation. Prof. Avramović saved the best for last – quotes from Hadžić’s book Duh naroda srbskog (The Spirit of the Serbian People), which brought into question the standardly accepted image of Hadžić as an emphatic supporter of the school of natural law.