Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): Universidad Católica received more than 700 unpublished works by lawyer Alejandro Silva Bascuñán

During the activity, his role as professor and researcher, his contribution to the legal world and his teachings in Public and Constitutional Law were highlighted.

With the presence of the UC rector , Ignacio Sánchez, the dean of the Faculty of Law , Gabriel Bocksang, the director of the UC Public Law department, Sebastián Soto , Monsignor Cristián Roncagliolo and the director of UC Libraries , Evelyn Didier, among other UC authorities, friends and relatives, the ceremony to formalize the donation of the personal archive of lawyer and professor Alejandro Silva Bascuñán to the Pontifical Catholic University by the professor and current Minister of the Constitutional Court, María Pía Silva , executor of his will.

The person in charge of moderating the activity was Professor Soto, who opened the event by reviewing the life and work of Alejandro Silva Bascuñán, highlighting his contribution to teaching and public life as founder of the Falange Nacional, as president and counselor of the Bar Association, and as a member of the Commission and Peace of the Episcopate for more than 30 years and of the Supreme Court, among others.

Honoring the memory of Professor Silva Bascuñán, the signing was made that reflects the donation of more than 700 unpublished works by the constitutionalist, including, among others, letters, manuscripts, opinion articles, reports, reflections, photos, diplomas and some objects, such as notebooks and notepads.

The dean of the Faculty assured in his speech that the figure of Alejandro Silva Bascuñán stands out for his great contribution and dedication to knowledge from his student days until he taught his last course in 1997. “The deep imprint of Professor Silva Bascuñán is unknown to no one as one of the greatest constitutionalists in our history, but above all as a great educator, a good man, simple and affable, prudent, and generous with his knowledge and wisdom”.

For her part, the director of UC Libraries and in charge of receiving the donated documentation, Evelyn Didier, highlighted the long work that UC Law and Library professors have carried out since January 2020 to ensure that the donation has financing, an inventory is carried out and subsequent digitization, organization, description and publication on the website centropatrimonio.uc.cl.

The Auxiliary Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Monsignor Cristián Roncagliolo, who also presides over the Alejandro Silva Bascuñán Foundation, highlighted the materialization of the contribution which “by delivering it to the University we contribute in some way so that his legacy lives on among us.”

Finally, the rector of the UC Ignacio Sánchez reflected on the importance of donating the archive, ensuring that it will be available for present and future generations. “The donation we receive today is really important for the heritage of the University and for the country’s culture.”

His legacy
Honoring the memory of Professor Silva Bascuñán, the signing was made that reflects the donation of more than 700 unpublished works by the constitutionalist, including, among others, letters, manuscripts, opinion articles, reports, reflections, photos, diplomas and some objects, such as notebooks and notepads.

A brief seminar was then held where professors María Pía Silva, Carlos Frontaura, José Francisco García and José Luis Cea recalled aspects of their training as a student, research and teachings in Public and Constitutional Law, their closeness to God and to the Church, and the contribution to the legal world.

“The donation we receive today is really important for the heritage of the University and for the country’s culture”- Ignacio Sánchez, rector

In this sense, Professor Silva, who worked from 1986 to 2013 in teaching, academic and research tasks developed by Alejandro Silva Bascuñán, made a biographical description of his career as a jurist and academic, highlighting him as “one of the most brilliant exponents of Chilean Constitutional Law of the 20th century”.

Then it was the turn of Carlos Frontaura who during his speech addressed passages from the university life of Alejandro Silva Bascuñán where he received the Tocornal award, standing out for his academic performance and for his social and spiritual formation along with other great lawyers such as Eduardo Frei, Bernardo Leighton, Ladislao Errázuriz, Eduardo Hamilton, and Manuel Bulnes, among others.

For Professor José Francisco García, the figure of Alejandro Silva Bascuñán as a constitutional lawyer is “prolific and influential” whose academic work “decisively defined the canons of our discipline for 70 years due to his great technical and specific contribution to perfect constitutional law ”.

“No one is unaware of the profound imprint of Professor Silva Bascuñán as one of the greatest constitutionalists in our history, but above all as a great educator, a good, simple and affable man, prudent, and generous with his knowledge and wisdom” – Gabriel Bocksang, Dean of Law UC

Finally, Professor José Luis Cea, who was also a disciple of Alejandro Silva Bascuñán, recalled in his presentation what the classes taught by Silva Bascuñán were like on the second floor of the Patio de la Virgen of the Central House Campus. “They lasted 45 minutes and we prayed the Our Father. Then walking around the room, he took out sheets with notes on political law to explain constitutionalism. That was the beginning of a great friendship and admiration for the teacher. My vocation coincided with his in the humanist vision of just government”, Cea concluded.

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