The Church Law Society, z. s. is a registered association, founded in 1994 at the School of Law of Charles University in Prague. The aim of the Society is to support study and research in the fields of church law, religion law, legal history of churches and related branches of law.
The Society consists of the Prague, Brno, Olomouc and Stribro local groups.
The Society has 512 members (1st February 2021). It is a collective member of the Czech Christian Academy, registered association (1995), and a member of the Council of Scientific Societies of the Czech Republic (2014). The Society fulfils the role of the legal section of the Czech Christian Academy.
The Society consists of students, teachers, scholars, lawyers from various fields of practice, employees of spiritual administration of various churches and those interested in various professions. It is built on the principle of respect and friendly relations with churches and other religious communities. Membership in the Society is not dependent on affiliation to a church or any other religious community.
The Society cooperates
with many scientific institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad, especially:
- all schools of law and theology in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
- Canon Law Academy in Brno (Akademie kanonického práva v Brně)
- Department of Legal Philosophy, Religion Law and Law of Culture, School of Law, University of Vienna (Institut für Rechtsphilosophie, Religions- und Kulturrecht, Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Wien)
- Centre for Law and Religion, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University
- European Consortium for Church and State Research
- International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS)
- Consociatio Internationalis Studio Iuris Canonici Promovendo
- Slovak Canon Law Society (Slovenská spoločnosť kánonického práva)
- Austrian Church Law Society (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kirchenrecht)
- Association of Polish Canon Law Scholars (Stowarzyszenie Kanonistów Polskich)
- Polish Society of Religion Law (Polskie Towarzystwo Prawa Wyznaniowego)
- Ecclesiastical Law Society, United Kingdom
- Essen Church and State Dialogues (Essener Gespräche zum Thema Staat und Kirche)
- International Society of Canon Law and Comparative Religious Legislation, Paris (Société internationale de droit canonique et de législations religieuses comparées)
- EUREL – Sociological and Legal Data on Religions in Europe and Beyond, Strasbourg (Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà)
- G.I.D.D.C. - Gruppo Italiano Docenti di Diritto Canonico
The Society achieves its objectives by
- publishing activities,
- organization of lectures and conferences,
- operation of the own website in Czech and English,
- running of the own specialized library for the purpose of research activities of members of the Church Law Society (see Library of the Society).
The Society publishes
- the peer-reviewed scientific journal Church Law Review (Revue církevního práva) in quantity of 1,000 copies of the range of 120–180 pages four times a year, both printed (ISSN 1211-1635) and online (ISSN 2336-5609),
- online Newsletter Aktuality – Internetový zpravodaj Společnosti pro církevní právo Praha – Brno – Olomouc – Stříbro twice a month (24 times a year), ISSN 2336-5595,
- online Newsletter for the English-Speaking Members and Friends of the Church Law Society Prague – Brno – Olomouc – Stříbro once a month (12 times a year), ISSN 2464-7276,
- non-periodical publications in the series called Church and Religion Law Series (Knižnice církevního a konfesního práva), ISSN 2464-8558.
The Church Law Review won the first place in 2003, the second place in 2014 and the third place in 2017 in the competition on the best specialized legal journal published in the Czech Republic organized by the Society of German, Czech, Slovak and Austrian lawyers of the Karlovy Vary Days of Law.
The Society organizes
- public all-evening lectures and debates under the series Influence of Law in Society and Church several times a year in Prague,
- international annual conference Church and State in Brno every September in cooperation with the Department of Constitutional Law and Political Science of the School of Law of the Masaryk University in Brno,
- international conferences Prague Church and State Dialogues every few years, lasting several days.