I first visited Onati, and the Institute, for the first Socio-Legal Conference in 2005. The beautiful buildings immediately impressed me, and also the lively conference discussions between international socio-legal scholars. This welcoming and open atmosphere seems to be the hallmark of the Institute.
Since then I've been fortunate to take part in two workshops:
Alternative Property Practices, in 2014;
The Precarious Home: perspectives on the home in insecure times, in 2015.
The Institute provides a wonderful space, and impeccable administration, enabling those attending the workshop to make the most of their time together. These were very productive and enjoyable meeetings, in a lovely setting.
I've also spent periods of time as a visiting scholar at the Institute, in 2015, 2016 and 2018. The collection of socio-legal literature in the library is unique; its tempting breadth makes it difficult to resist reading far beyond the topic you're researching! The library is an ideal place to work, being both peaceful and sociable - there are always interesting people to go for a coffee break with. I've really enjoyed staying in the Residencia with the postgrad students, the international socio-legal scholars of the future, and other visiting scholars. I've learnt a lot from conversations with them while preparing and eating meals together.
The town of Onati is of course an architectual treasure with a very distinguished history, but the hospitality of the Basque people also makes it a wonderful place to spend time in.
I congratulate the Institute and the staff on your 30th anniversary, and wish you many more successful years.
Sarah Blandy (friend of the Oñati Community)