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Navigare necesse est


Academic authorities, representatives of the administration, colleagues, students, ladies and gentlemen

The phrase 'navigare necesse est' (to sail is necessary), is attributed to the Republican General Pompey, who, according to Plutarch, wanted to encourage his crew in this way to keep straight in the middle of a storm, without thinking of the fear, the suspicion or the adverse circumstances. It is a phrase that has been converted into a sign of energy, growth and overcoming the odds and has been popular for many centuries. It was the motto of the Hanseatic League and has been used by, among others, Luis de Camoens, Petrarch and the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, whom I admire profoundly, who used the phrase in one of his poems ('Navegare é preciso'; To Sail is Necessary) paraphrasing the end of the complete sentence [1]: to sail is necessary, to live is not, in order to say:

'vivir no es necesario, lo que es necesario es crear'[2] (to live is not necessary, to create is).

This is what I want to transmit to all of you today, to all that have come to the closing ceremony of the classes of the second edition of the Master in Animal Law and Society. To the Professors, to the Students, to all the staff of the university and the collaborating entities, as well as to the friends who have come with us.

Taking this Master in the year of 2013 is a decision that is an honor for all of you, for all that you have signed onto. Facing the difficulty of clearing a path to Animals in the Law, you have chosen for a serious and professional education. A decision to go against the current. Thanks to all of you that have made a project like this possible; that this is something becoming reality, without haste, but without rest.

What most impresses me every day is when I see the students in class and the Professors that go to teach their conferences, many times with great personal effort, as they come from other countries and they don’t stop to do any tourism; this is the thrill, the will and the interest. I have seen some of you studying in the Library, preparing a project, suggesting an improvement, arrive running to class leaving the office or everyday work. I have always seen all of you thrilled and excited.

I want to encourage you to finish with the same eagerness the tasks that are left in order to obtain the title of Master: The Research Project and the Internship. But above all, I want to encourage you to leave the mark of your training wherever you may be. So that the improvement in the legal situation of the animals that are important to you can be seen. That it forms part of your “everyday landscape” and that you are you going to put the best of yourselves in helping to form the “everyday landscape” of many more people. We owe it to them.

For certain, I recently saw a cushion with a cross made of blades –almost like a pirate flag-, which had written in its corner this Latin dictum. Needless to say, I couldn’t resist the temptation, I bought it and it is now part of my closest 'everyday landscape'. I look at it and I think: of course, onwards!: navigare necesse est!.

Teresa Giménez-Candela
Professor of Roman Law
Animal Law Professor
Autonomous University of Barcelona

[1] Navigare necesse est, vivere non necesse
[2] PESSOA, F., Navegare é preciso: Quero para mim o espírito desta frase,/transformada a forma para a casar como eu sou: / Viver não é necessário;/o que é necessário é criar.'

keys law, legal , case law , animal

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