Nicole Grmelová appointed Professor of Commercial Law!

On Thursday, 13 June 2024, the Karolina Grand Auditorium of Charles University became the venue for the ceremonial awarding of appointment decrees to new professors. They were appointed by the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, on the proposal of the scientific and artistic councils of universities (and this time also the scientific council of the University of Defence). And it was from the hands of the President of the Republic, Petr Pavel, and Mikuláš Bek, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, that a total of seventy-five personalities have received them.

We are incredibly proud that the Head of the Department of Business and European Law, Professor Nicole Grmelová, was among them!

On this occasion, the professor gave us a short interview. Read what led her to an academic career, what she is working on now and what she would recommend to aspiring researchers.

What was your path to your academic career and what motivated you to become a professor?
Academic career is in my genes. Both my parents were associate professors at the Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague, where they focused on English and American literature. Despite the fact that I worked for four and a half years as a lawyer-linguist at the European Parliament in Brussels, despite the significantly higher salary, I did not find the work of a civil servant fulfilling. The same could be said about my previous experience as a law clerk. After returning from Brussels, I completed my doctoral studies at our department. In order to renew the accreditation, the department needed to have a junior associate professor and then a junior professor, so that was the main motivation to complete the whole process, which involved a number of publications and research projects.

Can you tell us more about your current research focus and what are the main objectives of your research?
Recently, I have been focusing mainly on the commercial and legal aspects of food law, which is not systematically addressed in the Czech Republic. We have also submitted a Horizon grant proposal focusing on the legal barriers to marketing alternative proteins (e.g. edible insects, algae), which is in line with the current trend of deepening sustainability in food production and distribution. I am a foreign correspondent for the European Food and Feed Law Review.
Another branch of my research concerns the dissemination of Czech commercial law in Spanish and French-speaking environments through the francophone research group GRERCA. I am a regular contributor to the monographs of this research group in the field of rectification of private law in Europe.

Are there any specific projects or initiatives you would like to work on?
I have already mentioned the Horizon project proposal. In addition, I am thinking about writing a monograph on EU and Czech food law, which has long been requested by C.H.Beck, but there has not been time for it yet.

What courses do you teach and how are they beneficial for students?
Most students know me from lectures in the Law in International Business course. However, I also teach a basic course on Introduction to Law in English for international students. In our follow-up Master’s programme “Business and Law” I teach Economic and Business European Law and the part of Comparative Business Law dedicated to Spanish law, because I accidentally studied law in Spain as well. In addition, we offer an executive course Preparing for a Career in the EU Institutions for graduates of the Prague University of Economics and Business and the public, where I use my “insider experience” from my time in the European Parliament to pass on tips and tricks for passing the EU civil service tests. Students find this particular experience of working in the EU extremely beneficial.

Do you have any advice or recommendations for students who want to pursue an academic career?
I think that an academic career requires, above all, the certain knowledge that it is work that is meaningful. It’s not a job that one would choose to get rich. This is especially true for lawyers, since a law graduate with three languages will normally be offered a starting salary of CZK 100,000 a month as a law clerk. Academia cannot compete with this, even if someone manages to achieve the title of professor after 20 years of active work at a university. In the academic world I enjoy especially the creative activity: the possibility of creating new projects, new courses, working with young people, even though the emerging digitalization often takes us away from it to work with computers, but I believe that digitalization will not destroy us completely 🙂 (I should add that I am a tech antitalent and until recently I could get by with a button phone without any problems.)

prof. JUDr. Nicole Grmelová, Ph.D.

prof. JUDr. Nicole Grmelová, Ph.D.

Head of the Department of Business and European Law. She has been working at the Department since 2002. She graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague (Mgr., JUDr.) and the Faculty of Law of the University of Seville (Lda.). Ph.D. and Assoc. D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Faculty of Economics of the Prague University of Economics and Business. From 2004 to 2008 she worked as a lawyer-linguist in the European Parliament. From 2009 to 2012 she worked externally with the Court of Justice of the EU as a lawyer-linguist. She mainly teaches courses on EU law and institutions in Czech, English and Spanish.

Nicole Grmelová appointed Professor of Commercial Law!
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