“The teachers and associates of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade launched the Annals [of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade] in 1953, as a journal of scientific thought in legal and social sciences. The basic structure and most important features—which would essentially be maintained to this day—were defined by the editor-in-chief at the time, Mihailo Konstantinović.
“However, the actual beginning goes back much further. In 1906 Associate Professor Kosta Kumanudi and Docent Dragoljub Arandjelović started the Archive for Legal and Social Sciences, as a body of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. The journal was published by Geca Kon, 34 Knez Mihailova Street, Belgrade. From that moment and up until 1941, the Archive had not been published only during the First World War. During that period Čedomir Mitrović, Mihailo Ilić and Djordje Tasić had been the editors-in-chief.”
The Second World War also affected the publication of the journal. The editorial board managed to publish the third volume of the 1941 Archive in late March. By April war had already broken out.
“After the war, in 1945, Jovan Djordjević, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, was the editor-in-chief of the Archive. In the first issue the editorial board noted the following. ‘The Archive is published under its old name because this is the name of a scientific journal that has had a good reputation and authority in the wide circles of our jurists. It is and remains a nice legacy for our young social science. However, keeping the old name of our journal does not and must not mean that we resume the Archive with the former dominant views and ideas of the role of jurists and the significance and meaning of the law. The state organization and sociopolitical atmosphere that we live in today is on many points fundamentally different from the atmosphere and legal order of the old Yugoslavia. In the old Yugoslavia, the Archive had a critical, negative view of the government, which does it credit and justifies continuing it. It pointed out the unconstitutionality and illegality of procedures and acts by the rulers in the old Yugoslavia. It proved the unconstitutionality of the infamous Obznana [decree] and challenged the legal and lawful character of many legislative and administrative measures of the previous order.’”
With these guidelines the Archive changed its appearance and character. In 1946 Moša Pijade became editor-in-chief and the journal began to drift away from the Faculty of Law and its teachers. In 1949 the Archive officially became a body of the Yugoslav Association of Jurists, which was assigned the role of serving the political and partisan goals during this new period. The professors of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade had a growing sense of discomfort at the thought of having to publish their contributions in a journal where political reports and scientific studies would be side by side.
“This created the need for a new journal where the contributors would be the teachers, assistants, other scientific staff and researchers in the field law and social studies, judges, attorneys and other jurists, who have thoughts of significance for legal and social sciences that they wish to announce to the legal and general public.
“And that is how the journal of the university teachers of law was born, this time under the name Annals of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade.”
Editorial, Annals 1–2/2003