Socialism’s Legacy in Contemporary Law and Legal Scholarship: The Case of Hungary

Journal of East European Law (Columbia University), Vol. 2004, Nos. 2-3. pp. 95-122, 2004

17 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2011 Last revised: 12 Nov 2011

See all articles by András Jakab

András Jakab

University of Salzburg

Miklós Hollán

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 28, 2007

Abstract

This article considers the legacy of socialism in Hungarian law and legal scholarship. The most important elements of this legacy are: 1. the literal approach of interpretation; 2. the non-recognition of human rights as positive constitutional rights, and their referral exclusively into the realm of natural law; 3. the concept of the supreme body of state power; 4. state administration as synonymous with administration; 5. the independence of family law; and finally 6. the doctrine of social dangerousness.

This legacy is partially motivated by the original ideas of Marxism (for example, the independence of family law), but is also, in part, a result of the dictatorial nature of socialism (for example, the prohibition of teleological interpretation). Such traces, in one form or another, can be found in almost all of the formerly socialist states of Europe. Their discovery is, accordingly, relevant not only for Hungary, but also for other Eastern European countries. Furthermore, the revelation of the continued effect of socialist legal inheritance on current, post-socialist law not only satisfies scholarly interest, but also has practical relevance by calling the attention of today’s legislators to the manner in which socialist thought processes and legal views - sometimes - unconsciously continue to influence legal thinking and sometimes even the outcome of cases.

Keywords: legal theory, socialism, Hungary

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Jakab, Andras and Hollán, Miklós, Socialism’s Legacy in Contemporary Law and Legal Scholarship: The Case of Hungary (August 28, 2007). Journal of East European Law (Columbia University), Vol. 2004, Nos. 2-3. pp. 95-122, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1918409

Andras Jakab (Contact Author)

University of Salzburg ( email )

Kapitelgasse 5-7.
Salzburg, 5020
Austria

Miklós Hollán

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
73
Abstract Views
519
rank
389,353
PlumX Metrics