Selected Papers Presented at the Fourth Central and Eastern European Forum for Legal, Political and Social Theorists, Celje, 23–24 March 2012
Edited By Péter Cserne, Miklós Könczöl and Marta Soniewicka
The Subject Matter of Jurisprudence
The topic of this article is the subject matter of jurisprudence, that is to say, the determination of the phenomenon that occupies legal theorists. I will only try to list a few, in my opinion, indisputable theses about the subject of jurisprudence, describe them and draw some methodological corollaries from them. I do not have any illusion that this would dissipate all dilemmas, but I believe that it is important at least to strive to do this. Why is it so?
There are at least three reasons to clarify this topic, namely to delimit the subject of jurisprudence correctly. The first one is professional: resolving this issue is a necessary condition for the existence of jurisprudence as a legal discipline. It is an old-fashioned scholarly convention that every legal discipline is determined by two elements. The first one is the subject and the second is the method of the discipline. For example, sociology of law is usually characterised by the method of empirical observation and its main subject, the relation between law and society. Criminal law has positively valid norms about criminal offences and punishments as its subject and the appropriate method for investigating such a subject is exegesis. According to this convention, it seems a pressing task for jurisprudents to determine the subject of their discipline.
The second argument for talking about the subject is practical. Namely, this question becomes important if we bear in mind...
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