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Megvilágítandó különbség áll fenn a jogi néprajz és a jogi antropológia között, továbbá az utóbbi és a jogi etnológia s a jogi pluralizmus, valamint a bennszülött jogok kutatása közt. Az első három tárgya alapjában a nem jogi diszciplínák jogi vonatkozásaiból__

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The core of codification is invariably the idea of a system in the law's composition and structuring, doctrinal reflection and conceptual building up, including judicial reference to codal definitions as well. Or, codification is (1) an exclusive body of law (2) implementing unity in its regulatory field (3) with logical coherence and consequentiality. The dream of a common European codification penetrates into the very heart of the law, presupposing the unification of all the intellectuality and underlying approach that has ever distinguished Civil Law and Common Law. The more the advancement of the European unification progresses, the more inverse the assessment of European codification becomes, making us its past trends, values and regulatory techniques reconsidered. That is, as if we on the Continent had not so much become statal national units unified by a sequence of national laws but, being too conceited of our most promising collective heritage within the transitory phase of an infantile disorder, became rather fragmented in national isolation from one another, which now comes eventually to a final end.

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Comparative legal cultures?

Renewal by transforming into a genuine discipline

Acta Juridica Hungarica
Author: Csaba Varga

‘Comparative law’ was born to challenge national self-centredness at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, without transcending—notwithstanding its admission of social and cultural-historical approaches in the study of law—the perspectives of rule-positivism. ‘Comparative legal cultures’ attempts at explaining the prevailing cultural and traditional diversity that has generated, among others, western law with its modern formalism and the alternative ways of reaching social order in other cultures. By its focus upon the underlying culture and, thereby, also upon the hermeneutic understanding of legal phenomena, the latter is expected to offer growingly adequate responses to timely questions such as the universalisability of law and human rights, the convergence of the continental Civil Law and the British Common Law, or the development and future of the legal set-up in the Central and Eastern European region.The interest of the comparative study of legal cultures is thus one in the history of ideas, dedicated to human problem-solving as the cultural response of people to external challenges. For the description of living complexes in terms of mere rules can result at most in ‘thin description’ with the exclusion of ‘thick description’, the more so as rules (just as concepts) are only the consequences of a kind of possible representation, therefore, relying exclusively upon them may contribute to dissolving even prevailing interrelations, atomising organic components as fragmented into detached elements. Or, institutional thinking not-withstanding, not even the subject’s formalism can serve as a ground for restricting human completeness and integrity, cultural diversity, as well as responsibility to be taken for these.

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From amongst legal theories of Socialisms’ Marxism, Hungarian scholarship played a rather balancing role all along. Characterised by dialogue and successful mediation, it strove to take a middle-of-the-road stance within the Socialist orbit. It took the professional requirements of scholarship rather seriously within the bounds of feasibility at varying times. Under restrictive conditions and despite ideological dictates, it filled a fermentative role. All in all, it made both (1) the sociological approach and (2) the historico-comparative perspective accepted in the Socialist world by transcending legal positivism and especially “Socialist normativism”, on the one hand, and by breaking out from domestic/regional self-seclusion, on the other. Moreover, it (3) introduced the ontological perspective, built upon the epistemological perspective, exclusive till then, and thereby it could attribute ontic significance to the self-explanation and self-representation of different legal cultures, usually treated as having merely an ideological importance; and (4) by developing a law and modernisation theory, it could address Central and Eastern Europe in a responsive way. The overview starting by assessing the legacy in the end of WWII concludes in a parallel characterisation of the state of scholarship and its achievements throughout the countries concerned by the end of the Soviet rule. Through and owing to all this, the Hungarian pattern offered a relatively near-to-optimum alternative, a kind of optimality in its solutions and responses.

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Szokásos megközelítések szerint fennállásukat az ‘emberi jogok’ az emberiség közös meggyőződésének köszönhetik. Ennek megfelelően jogosultságok ezek, amikről hisszük, hogy ember volta csupasz tényénél fogva minden emberhez bármiféle kormányzati közreműködés nélkül hozzátartoznak. Meghatározásai egyik pólusán az egyén áll, akit személyes minőségében alapvető jogosultságként ez eleve megillet, másik pólusán pedig az állam (kormányzat és politikai intézményrendszer), amelynek e fölött, ennek korlátozására nem lehet hatalma. Ilyen módon nem egy fennálló szabályozásban már lefektetett követelményrendszer merő aktualizálásáról vagy újrafogalmazásáról van szó, hanem arra irányuló igényről, hogy az akként meghirdetett várakozás hivatalosan elismertetve ennek megfelelő intézményes jogi védelmet nyerjen. Paradoxikusan szólva tehát az az ‘emberi jog’, ami éppen nem jog, s ekképpen nem része, következménye vagy vonatkoz(tat)ása bármiféle fennálló jognak. Vagyis pontosan azért ‘emberi jog’, mert még nem jog. Ilyen módon ez semmiféle normativitással — hatállyal, érvénnyel, bármiféle formális következmény-levonás, azaz tényleges szankcionálás lehetőségével — nem rendelkezik. Ami hatást pedig reálisan gyakorol, az annak hatása lesz, hogy fennállását, létét, relevanciáját hányan és hogyan, mekkora hangerővel és tömegbefolyással állítják. Ezért is nem véletlen a megnevezés: ‘emberi jog’. Hangzatos hívószó, mely jelentéstani elemzésben diszfemizmusnak nevezhető: olyan kifejezés, ami — ellentétben az eufemizmussal — kifejezett valójánál többet (nyelvészeti általánosságban: kellemesebbet, megragadóbbat vagy éppen ártóbbat, taszítóbbat) sugall magáról. Ebből viszont az következik, hogy mihelyst megvalósul, vagyis úgynevezett emberi jogból valóságos joggá válik, ‘emberi jog’-ként állított gyökere — múltja és minősége — rögvest elenyészik. Hiszen joggá válásával szerzett normativitása tételezettségből fog származni, függetlenül bármiféle előzménytől. A nyelvi aktus elmélete mára feltárta a minden emberi beszédmódot egyebek közt átható ideologikus célzatot: emberi kommunikációnkban nemcsak leírunk, s leírtat akként megnevezünk, de egyszersmind világképet alakítunk, melynek során egyszersmind cselekszünk, mert performatív aktusként valami e nélkül társadalmilag nem létezőt létezővé vagy megragadhatóvá teszünk. Az emberi jogi ideológia mára olyannyira világméretű cselekvési program lett, hogy a joggá tett ‘emberi jogi’ követelést is immár emberi joginak nevezzük.

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The fate of Marxism in the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies as the former’s extension owing to post-WWII occupation was from the beginning sealed by Bolshevism, that is, the politico-ideological domination and use of the scholarly domain as well, made to self-close in a merely justificatory role. There may have been attempts at opening, even if only conceivable within—i.e. preserving at the same time—this framework function. In the present conspectus, the limiting positions are occupied by the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic, completed by after-1968 Czechoslovakia, as well as Yugoslavia and pre-1968 Czechoslovakia, representing the substitute-to-religion dogmatic side, exclusively politically motivated in the former and subordinated to a humanising tendency in the latter case, on the one hand, and Poland, dedicated to a purely analytical approach, in which Marxism has simply no relevance, on the other. Hungary, treated in an earlier paper by the author, was in-between, taking Marxism seriously but mostly as a methodology, and thereby able to foster live debates. All that notwithstanding, there has been quite a few progressive moves also in Romania and Bulgaria in this specific academic field. Turning topoi of the discussions were, chronologically but recurrent transubstantiatedly, the exclusivity of Vyshinsky’s socialist normativism, the consequences ensuing from the law’s superstructural nature, the discontinuity vs. continuity of law in historical development, and, in the background, the dilemma of the ontological/epistemological understanding of Marxism, the latter standing for a rigid Leninist reducibility of law to its material substratum as the product of sheer reflection, and the former enabling to develop the law’s relative autonomy as in Lukács’ posthumous ontology. On the final analysis, all these forced paths made a whole region’s efforts to be belated as compared to international developments, the fact notwithstanding those outstanding achievements were born especially on the fields of legal ontology and sociology, as well as the legal methodology and particularly that of the comparison of laws.

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Surveying the ways—along with the whys and hows—of connecting law and philosophising, as contrasted to the appearances of modern formal law, it is concluded that in the final analysis law is a façon de parler—a specific communication, or game carried out in an open scene—, an actual event, if one played by humans practicing whilst simultaneously referencing it. The contemporary outcome of reflection upon its developments is (1) the reduction of legal philosophising to discourse-reconstruction, in terms of which instead of the issue of “what is it?”, “all that notwithstanding: how can it be achieved?” is usually raised; (2) the unresolved enigma of natural law, calling for axiology to define at least some foundational standards as stepping stones (albeit without a claim that any statement has genuinely concluded from them or been subordinated to them, as in the classical era when natural law and positive law were at odds); and (3) positive law without legal positivism, according to which a new synthesis and correlation amongst humans’ natural, societal and intellectual worlds is expected to be reached. At the same time, flourishing at the peripheries, a genuine foundation is coming to the fore, in order to suitably respond to global challenges.

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Does the legal system have a structure (according to sources and branches of law, general and special parts of codes, principles, rules and exceptions in regulation, etc.), or structuring is taken into it from the outside? And providing that it is taken, whoever is taking it? For neither principles, nor rules are given in themselves, separated from each other in a way classified in terms of the law's taxonomic systemicity as bearing their own separate meaning. All this can be but the result of a constitutive act. Based upon legal doctrines, it is judicial practice that builds different propositions into either principles or rules. Or, it is not logic itself that labels anything as a structuring element identified as either principle or rule but we, who ponder the mode of how to construct a sequence of distinction, deduction and justification conclusive enough to convince those controlling the issue we propose in the procedural hierarchy. Therefore the structuring features in law are construed and construing, constructed and constructing at the same time, for they do not and cannot exist in and by themselves at all.

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A theoretically motivated reasoning leaving its mark on legal dogmatics producing some derivative through a methodical process, the doctrinal study of law is a parasite contingent upon the law in force. For it converts law positedly built by consecutive structuring of words into some sort of a uniform conceptual system. Therefore it is an authored product mostly in a historical chain. Its novelty is lending logicality to what is inadvertent itself. As a reconstruction providing logically added meaning to a subject not carrying this itself, it too is contingent with by chance variations competing amongst themselves. Its goal is to establish consequentiality for deductive derivations in order to guarantee certainty in/of the law. Consequently, in arrangements without conceptualization there is no dogmatics either. In European history, the continental tradition has retraced ius to lex for the law to be embodied by posited texts. Dogmatics is a meta-structure logified upon them.

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The law’s homogeneity

Challenged by heterogenisation through ethics and economics

Acta Juridica Hungarica
Author: Csaba Varga

The Atlantic civilisation has over the past centuries been composed of two definitely diverging ethoses and social philosophical inspirations, differing also by their very foundations. The contrasts are perhaps most conspicuous today as to be seen in the difference between approaches to life as a struggle and to law as a game within it. No doubt, on the one hand, there prevails the rest of (1) a European Christian tradition, characterised by communal ethos, with provision of rights as counter-balanced by obligations, in which priority is given to the peace of society and a traditional culture of virtues is promoted to both circumvent excesses and acknowledge human rights, with a focus on prevention of and remedy to actual harms. It is such an environment within which homo ludens as a type of the playful human who is at the same time dutiful and carefree-entirely joyful-constitutes a limiting value. If and insofar as struggle appears at all on the scene, it is mostly recognised as a fight for excellence. As a pathologic version, the loneliness of those staying away from participation may lead to psychical disorders which require subconscious re-compensation, the symbolic sanctioning of which was once accomplished by the psycho-analysis. On the other, there has also evolved (2) an Americanised individualistic atomisation of society, expecting order out of chaos, with absolutisation of rights ascribed to individuals, all closed back in loneliness. As an outcome, obligations are circumvented by entitlements, and unrestrained struggle becomes a part of any normal course of life with the deployment of human rights just to neutralise (if not disintegrate) communitycentred standards. “Life is struggle”-the hero of our brave new world enunciates the words as a commonplace with teeth clenched, convinced that life is barely anything but fight against anybody else (as an improved version, hailed as civilisatory advancement as re-actualising-under the pretext of maximising the chances of-the ominous bellum omnium contra omnes, formulated once in early modern England). Starting from the common deployment of some symbolical “cynical acid” in foundation of modern formal law but developing through differentiated ways of how to search for reason and systemicity in law, the conceptual and methodical effect of this very division is shown in the paper within the perspectives for curing malpractice in law and also in the role of ethics in economy.

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