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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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A kész szövegátvételben végződő joghatások kérdése globalizálódó korunkban egyre általánosodó jelenséggé válik, miközben tudományos feldolgozása alig tart ezzel lépést. Nemcsak fogalmi kerete, gyakorlati tapasztalatainak levonása, s így mögöttesen megbúvó törvényszerűségei és tanulságai levonása, eszményeinek megfogalmazása hiányzik, de még terminológiája is tisztázatlan. Recepció, octroi, jogexport, jogátvitel, jogkölcsönzés, jogátültetés, jogi segítségnyújtás; diszciplínaként pedig a jog és fejlődés, jog és modernizáció amerikai mozgalmai, a franciáknál pedig a fejlesztés joga - mindezek eltérő vonásokat eltérő nézőpontokból fogalmiasítanak. Kritikai áttekintésük és elemzésük (1. Terminusok) lehetőséget teremt elméleti alapok kidolgozására, a jogi mintaadás ontológiájának vázlatos megrajzolására (2. Technikalitás). A legfontosabb tanulság ebben a jogot szabályként azonosító szűkkeblű pozitivisztikus szemlélet meghaladása egy a jogban tételezés, jogértelmezési közeg, egy egész mögöttes jogi kultúra konglomerátumát láttató totalitás-szemlélet javára. Kétségtelen sikerek mellett ez erőteljes kudarcoktól kísért folyamatként érzékeli az elmúlt fél évszázad joghatásra irányuló törekvéseit (3. Kontrasztok a jogátvitelekben és megítélésükben). Figyelemmel a háttérben megbúvó érdekek makacs önérvényesítésére, sokat jelez már maga a kérdésfeltevés élessége is, hiszen társadalompolitikai magasságokba emelkedve egyre inkább a globalizáció természetére irányul. Nevezetesen, magunkból indulunk-e ki vajon, hogy saját hagyományunkat másokra erőltessük, avagy tudunk-e önzetlenül másokat csupán abban támogatni, hogy önmaguk fejlesztésének útját megleljék? Vagyis narcisztikusan önmagunkra ügyelő hataloméhségünket, avagy segíteni akarásunkat szolgálja-e érdeklődésünk? Végső soron melyik mintát választjuk hát a cirkuszi idomár akaratátviteli mutatványa és a kertésznek mindenkor másra figyelő alázata közül? Hiszen önáldozattal jár az előbbi kísértését elkerülni, ám csakis egy saját tapasztalatok tanulságaihoz visszavezető út lehet hosszú távon sikerre vezető. Mert végül úgyis a célzott rendszer kiválasztó erején múlik minden, miközben a nem-jogi környezet meghatározhatja a jog sorsát. Egy, a természet emberi kultiválásából vett hasonlattal élve, jobb hát lassan megtudni, hogy mit is akar a föld és élő környezete, és utána jöjjön csak a kertész.

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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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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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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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After the classical heritage of both Civil Law and Common Law is characterised, their juristische Weltanschauung as professional deontology is reconstructed in parallel with their respective assumptions in theory formation. As to the nature of legal process, the moment of concealment is identified in both types with the final conclusion reached that humans’ individual activity and personal responsibility is hidden in the machinery. Civil Law is defined by rules enacted as the sole embodiment of the law, treated conceptually in a linguistico-logical way so as to be suitable to lead to mechanical application within the range of a meta-level dogmatic system. The interplay between logical subsumption and volitional classificatory subordination is analysed in order to show what legal ascriptivity is and why it ends with the artificial construction of legal force. Accordingly, Civil Law ideology is imbued with analogies as if cognition were at stake, in contrast to Common Law openly undertaking fiction to explain in what manner the judicial deliberation on facts whilst reconstruing the whys and hows of past instances can result in ascertaining what the law has allegedly ever been. The law’s understanding-theorised in the former and pragmatised in the latter case-is part of its applying as an ontic component of the very existence of the complex social phenomenon called law.

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Nations of Central and Eastern Europe in the near past have all faced the same dilemma: how can they manage international encouragement to adopt atlantic patterns in promise of ready-made routes with immediate success, in a way also promoting the paths of organic development, relying on own resources and potentialities that can only be gained from tradition? Or, otherwise speaking, is it feasible at all to rush forward by rapidly learning all the responses others elaborated elsewhere at a past time? Or are they expected themselves to become Sisyphus bearing his own way, at the price of suffering and bitter disillusionment? The question was not raised by each country individually in the region as not much time was left for pondering in the rapid drift of events. Anyhow, cost-free solutions adopted from without may easily lead to adverse results, far away from expectations for the time being. The principles of free market, democracy and parliamentarism-with rule of law and human rights in the background-are usually believed to offer a kind of panacea curing the basic ills in the contemporary world. Generalised experience notwithstanding, social science has to be given the chance to record-if found so-that the same staff may not work at some places where it has just recently been transplanted as it is used to work amidst its natural surrounding in the western hemisphera, not with the same cost/benefit ratio at the least. For that reason, scholarship in Central and Eastern Europe is growingly aware of the fact that what it can provide is by far not marginal feedback but the very first testing and teasing proof on social embeddedness of some ideas and ideals, deservedly fundamental for the atlantic world. Realistically speaking, not even western social development is separable from the economic reserves of the development actually run. Or, operation of any societal complexity requires resources in both social organisation and material production.

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A scale of globalisation is witnessed in the present case study as exemplified by (1) the transformation of the role of precedents; (2) the multicultural and multifactorial search for a common solution instead of any law-based administration of justice; (3) dissolving definition by and conclusion from the law in the name of a legal socio-positivist approach; accompanied with (4) some new prerogatives acquired by courts through a) unfolding statutory provisions through principles in judicial actualisation, (b) constitutionalisation of issues, as well as c) the Supreme Court imposing upon the nation as its supreme moral authority. In both cases, the main point is to re-consider the law's normative material in a way somewhat released from nationally positivated self-restriction when searching for a kind of trans-national cultural community. By gradually eliminating the law's substantivity, legal self-identity is mostly preserved in a rather procedural sense.

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