- Survival of the socialist legal tradition? A Polish perspective
- Comparative Law Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 4 | 2
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)
The dissolution of the Socialist Legal Family should not be identified with the disappearance of the underlying Socialist Legal Tradition. The impact of the 45 years of Actually Existing Socialism upon Polish legal culture is still significant. First of all, there has been an almost uninterrupted continuity of legal instiutions (courts, legal professions), and the system of legal education and judicial appointments furthers the continuity of legal culture. Secondly, ultra-formalism (‘hyperpositivism’) associated with the Socialist Legal Tradition in its post-Stalinist version remains the dominant working legal thought in Poland. Thirdly, there are still many examples of normative continuity, especially in procedural and substantive private law. On the basis of these factors, it is possible to enquire whether the differences of legal style between the new Central European member states of the EU and its old Western European member states are sufficiently significant as to justify the identification of a Central European legal family as the fifth legal family in the European Union (apart from the Common Law, Romanic, Germanic and Scandinavian Legal Families).
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