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Judge Silvana Sciarra delivers inaugural law lecture

Posted on 01 October 2020

The former EUI professor discussed her emotional ties to the Institute and emphasised the role of social law during the pandemic.

“I will not hide it that I am very excited to be here.” Judge Silvana Sciarra’s emotion is palpable as she prepares to deliver the speech inaugurating the Law Department’s new academic year. 

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Italian Constitutional Court Judge Silvana Sciarra delivered the Law Department's Inaugural Lecture for the new academic year. 

The Institute’s former Professor of Labour Law and European Social Law, who taught here from 1994 until 2003, nurtures a deep connection with the Institute, which she calls “a wonderful place”.

“The EUI changed my life,” she says, adding that she often talks about her time at the EUI with her colleagues in European institutions and in the Italian Constitutional Court.

The first woman elected by Parliament as a Judge to the Italian Constitutional Court, Judge Sciarra credits the networks of researchers at the EUI for the enriching experience. “The researchers and doctoral researchers I supervised at the EUI turned out to be great scholars and I have maintained a splendid relationship with them throughout the years,” she says, praising her supervisees’ commitment to social law. 

In her inaugural lecture to this year’s newly admitted researchers, she plans to emphasise how she worked at the European University Institute during a crucial time for European social law. “It was a topic at the centre of public debate,” she says. “Researchers at the time were exposed to topics that were being shaped by European institutions and they were able to closely follow these developments,” adding that the current pandemic has highlighted once again the importance of social law. “Social law measures are essential in such tragic times” she says. “My speech is an admonishment to new researchers, who must face these topics with determination and a positive spirit”.

Sciarra recalls that the EUI’s prestige allowed researchers to meet top institutional figures, who shared their practical experiences working in European institutions. Her work in the field of Comparative Social Law led her to build a network of colleagues across the world, which she says received a warm welcome at the Institute.

Furthermore, Judge Sciarra helped create connections between the EUI and the University of Florence, where she is Emeritus Professor in Law, providing EUI researchers with teaching experience. 

It is just part of the many experiences that make Judge Silvana Sciarra so proud to have been part of the EUI.