In the article, I contrast the contemporary legal dogma with the challenges underlying the political nature of law and judicial practice. Both the Continental jurisprudence and the judicial decisions issued by European courts are dominated by the dogmatic current – and treated as politically neutral acts. My intention is to carefully verify this quite common belief in this paper. Making use of H. Berman’s views, I assume that the present shape of jurisprudence and the judicial practice based thereon have been established as a result of political conflicts and that the legal dogma is capable of neutralising and solving modern-day political conflicts precisely because of the qualities of the said shape. It is therefore both a political and an apolitical activity. But this paradox is only apparent. In its strive to keep its paradigm alive, the dogma should be flexible in reacting to the challenges occurring in its political environment. It can – and should – modify the “buffer” of the theory upon which it is set in order to retain its core. In the article, I try to answer the question about the boundaries of the possible adaptation of jurisprudence and juridical practice with respect to claims raised by the domain of politics – claims currently articulated as the strongest by the so-called critical theories of adjudication. The final part of the paper is an attempt – based on the example of theses formulated in monograph
by R. Mańko, W stronę krytycznej filozofii orzekania – to outline the said boundaries.
The aim of the article is to analyse the problem of the political nature of judicial decisions through a reconstruction of the ways of interpreting the relationship between law and political values in the contemporary philosophical-legal discourse. The considered problem has been presented from the perspective of such a concept of law that recognises law as a practice of a certain political community. The author attempts to reconstruct the contemporary understanding of the political nature of law viewed as rejecting the voluntarist and individualist paradigms and adopting the phronetic and community paradigms instead.
The act of labelling, typical of the contemporary discourse on constitutionalism, has given rise to a thick jungle of “adjectival constitutionalisms”, reaching beyond the classic liberal paradigm. The formulated concepts aim at specifying the changes taking place in public law and in its political surrounding. The discourse on the notion of constitutionalism is a piece of a greater puzzle – the problem of the political. The purpose of this paper is to compare the two titular notions: constitutionalism and the political. The first part of the paper addresses the problem of methodological inconsistencies in the modern-day analysis of the concept of constitutionalism. The second part raises the controversies around the essence of constitutionalism and their fundamental significance to the theoretical legitimisation of alternatives to the concept of legal and liberal onstitutionalism (the concepts of the essence of constitutionalism as limitation of power, statically understood self-establishment – a founding myth, and dynamically understood self-establishment). Part three discusses the notion of the political as a criterion of division of the said concepts of constitutionalism.
The article attempts to analyse the status of the theory of legal interpretation that
emerges from the contributions of one of the representatives of critical legal studies
(CLS). Legal interpretation is analysed by using concepts drawn from hermeneutic
universalism and the post-structural philosophy of politics. The concepts of Duncan
Kennedy, an American philosopher of law, are subjected to analysis, and his
concept of adjudication, the indeterminacy thesis and the hermeneutic of suspicion
is addressed. The paper puts forward the thesis that the political nature of law – alongside
factors closely related to social structure – is also determined by factors which
pertain to the cognitive subject. This fact has crucial importance for determining
the status of the theory of legal interpretation.
The aim of the present paper is to operationalise the concept of the political in
order to make it available as an analytical category for the critical study of judicial
decisions (case law). The concept of the political is understood here, following, in
particular, Chantal Mouffe’s agonistic theory, whereby it is a dimension of a social
antagonism. Such an antagonism can be played out not only in the process of
legislation (creation of abstract and general legal norms), but also in the process of
adjudication (the so-called ‘application of law’, which, however, always has a creative
element to it). As an analytical category, the political can be operationalised
in order to subject judicial decisions to a critique which goes beyond the question
of the ‘correct’ interpretation and ‘application’ of law in a given case, but puts in the
spotlight real social, political and economic conflicts that are at stake. The analytical
framework is exemplified by judicial decisions of the European Court of Justice.
The paper aims at reconstruction and critical discussion with the main tenets of political theory of adjudication, as presented by Rafał Mańko in his book, W stronę krytycznej filozofii orzekania. Polityczność, etyka, legitymizacja [Towards a Critical Philosophy of Adjudication. The Political, Ethics, Legitimacy]. In the paper, I demonstrate: that the interpretation of the concept crucial for the entire theory – which is the concept of political – has been chosen by Mańko in an ideological and a priori manner; that the choice above effectively prevents the realisation of the main objective of the book, which is to legitimise adjudication; that the adoption of the ethics of adjudication advocated in the book is – in the light of the basic assumptions of that very publication – both improbable and hardly acceptable. Finally, I claim that Mańko’s theory, due to its totality, can distinguish neither between legitimate law and violence, nor between justified and unjustified adjudication. As a result, it loses its critical force. All these problems are not peculiar to Mańko’s theory, but they are general weaknesses of various versions of critical jurisprudence.
The article concerns real and potential reactions of jurisprudential discourses to the phenomenon of the crisis of liberal democracy. The author argues that liberal democracy has been a hegemonic structure – meaning that not only has it been dominant in the factual sense in the broadly understood Western legal and political culture but it has also effectively suppressed any competing discourses. Today, the hegemony of demoliberalism is being questioned. The new state of affairs causes a range of complications that
jurisprudential discourses have to deal with. The author considers three possible scenarios of the reaction of these discourses to the said crisis. The first of them means a shift towards democratic authoritarianism. The second is about remaining in a collective hypocrisy, waiting for a change in the current intellectual climate. The third involves accepting the political nature of jurisprudence and making the concept of agonistic democracy a reality.
It is a widespread opinion that modern jurisprudence was shaped first of all by the tradition of Roman law. In this article author tries to explain why ancient Greek legal thought should be equally important. As an example he considers the evolution and the different meanings of the concept of nomos. Four issues are presented in this paper. First, nomos in the political philosophy of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben. Secondly, nomos in one of Pindar’s poems. Thirdly, the distinction between physis and nomos made by the sophists. Fourthly, thesmos, nomos and psephisma in the legislative practice of Athenian ekklesia.
The choice of the formula of justice is being made by a law enacting body. In a democratic state parliament, or a political body is the main source of formulae of justice,
out of the nature of things dominated by political discourse. Here we touch the most significant problem of enacting fair and just law: considerations on the topic of justice reveal a connection of the choice of the formula of justice with philosophy. The compromise of philosophy co-acting in the twentieth century with totalitarian systems refuted then ultimately a myth about a possibility of direct translation of philosophical categories to political categories. The political practice of a liberal democratic state rejects the idea of metaphysics, which would determine the current purposes of the politics. There is a suggestion that democracy faces philosophy in the order of thinking. In spite of such attitude, the author decides to allow for philosophical establishing of the liberal-democratic state, but also allowing for the simultaneous realizing that it is by itself justified as the most reasonable political practice of the state. The philosophy may justify democracy only accepting in turn itself as a variant of a democratic discourse, although the only one which is able to have some distance to mere assumptions of philosophy, without ceasing in this way it is being a democratic discourse. Such philosophy is actually the hermeneutics of politics.
The publication explores the phenomenology and content of ‘soft law’ in the international
and national law and reveals the designation of ‘soft law’ in protecting the electoral rights of the citizens. ‘Soft law’ is intended to mean optional international documents, most of
which are resolutions of the intergovernmental organisations containing statements, commitments, guidelines, common positions or statements on policy or intentions. ‘Soft law’ documents are usually adopted by the statutory bodies of the international organisations on issues that reflect new problems, tendencies or trends in the field of electoral law, for which there is no political will or the accordance of all the member states in the form of a classical international treaty. When it comes to the content, the ‘soft law’ documents are all kinds of statements, obligations, guidelines, codes of conduct, codes of ethics, guidelines and standards, common positions or statements of policy or intentions.
After six years of Polish local government authorities practising participatory budgeting only within the framework of locally regulated consultation procedures, the year 2018 marked the official establishment of the statutory basis of the instrument in question. The adoption of statutory regulations for participatory budgeting has, on the one hand, legitimised the current practices of local government authorities to some extent, but on the other hand, making participatory budgets an obligatory instrument in towns and cities with poviat rights has warped the idea of participation. The article offers an assessment of the application of the new statutory basis of participatory budgeting in the light of the provisions regulating the planning and spending of public expenditure, accompanied by remarks on the origin of adoption of this instrument in other countries. The main aim of the article is to make the said assessment while maintaining a balance between the arguments for and against the utility of participatory budgeting from the perspective of Polish local government authorities. The discussion featured in the article
comes with a question raised thus far quite rarely in the relevant literature: what
is the legal nature of public expenditure spent within the framework of a participatory
A number of representative polls have been conducted on the death penalty in recent decades. There were some surveys whose authors were interested not only in the percentage of supporters and opponents of the death penalty, but also in whether this rate varies in different strata of society. Several polls were conducted, in which, in addition to socio-cultural factors, respondents were asked about their general attitudes and some research was also conducted in order to uncover the reasons behind the responses of the interviewees. From all of this, one can gain a clear picture as regards the socio-cultural characteristics of people in general, who are more in favour of the death penalty, as well as regarding what general ttitudes respondents have and for what reasons they formed their views. The subsequent presentation of the Hungarian surveys will help one to see whether distance in time affects the perception of the social need for capital punishment, and how such need changes over time. Overall, the aim of this study is to present a comprehensive human approach to the death penalty; that is, the goal is not to examine
how many people have supported or opposed the death penalty in a particular country in a given period of time, but to find out what factors influence commitment to or against capital punishment and the causes thereof, and what factors can change people’s attitudes towards the death penalty.