Within the range of the faculty’s scientific research activity, a general strategic goal of the faculty is attaining a broad scope and high quality of scientific research on such a level that ensures the faculty’s international recognisability, competitiveness and visibility in the European Research Area. With a view to achieving this goal, the faculty encourages systematic scientific research striving for excellence, while being based on the principles of intellectual freedom, initiative, creativity and openness.

The range of scientific research within the faculty’s fields is very broad and includes all branches of legal and social sciences. The data collected for the purposes of self-evaluation show, that in the last five years of the 80 active projects run at the faculty, 39 were domestic and 41 were international projects. In those 80 projects, the faculty was the project holder in 34, and a co-holder in five projects. As for the other projects, faculty teaching staff took part as national coordinators for Croatia, as leaders of the Croatian team within the project, project leaders or co-leaders, researchers, associates, advisors or experts. Of the projects in which the faculty was holder or co-holder, 26 were funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and 8 by the University of Zagreb. Of the international projects 19 were financed or co-financed from various European resources, of which, for example, 6 were Jean Monnet projects. The faculty participated in three FP7 projects (one of which is still being implemented), and it participated in one FP6 project.

The faculty is aware of its role and responsibility towards the community. Its mission in relation to society is pursuing a scientific activity which contributes to the development of the rule of law and a welfare state. The faculty’s responsibility for the transposition of research results into society is increased due to the circumstances in which it currently operates. In the last two decades the field of law has twice gone through major changes, first with the creation of the Republic of Croatia, when a new Croatian legal system had to be created, and the second time when Croatia was acceding to the European Union. The challenge in this period was to harmonise and align the Croatian legal system with the acquis of the European Union. These social processes were also reflected in the process of building Croatia as a welfare state. In these circumstances, in 1995 the faculty initiated its own scientific research programme (a.k.a. the Faculty Project), which includes four basic research topics: the new Croatian legal system, the history of Croatian law and its European legal historical assumptions, strategy of economic development and developmental policy of the Republic of Croatia, and social policy and social work in the Republic of Croatia. At the end of every year a research programme is adopted featuring such subtopics which are then researched in the following year. In structuring the programme and determining the basic research topics, in addition to the above-mentioned circumstances, researchers’ interest in terms of topics and methodology are considered, as are individual research capacities, the organisation of the faculty, and the possibilities of interinstitutional cooperation in the country and abroad.

Even though the programme is focused on various aspects of the legal system, i.e. the system of social policy and social work in the Republic of Croatia, the research carried out within the project has always had a comparative dimension. Results of project research have substantially contributed to the creation, development and understanding of the Croatian legal system, the creation and implementation of social policy and the functioning of the social work system.

A few particularly notable scientific research projects are listed below.