RS15_07: Democratic Deficit and the Rule of Law
Neither "Rule of Law" nor "Civil and Social State"? A modern legal challenge in Europe.
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Driving force of History is the endless struggle for conquest of Power, strongly connected to Law enforcement in every State. In Europe, the development of legal and political institutions has influenced the World. The once "Great Powers" have influenced catalytically the majority of the legal systems worldwide. In the theory of comparative legal systems a common European one (“Civil Law”) was established after Napoleon’s conquests as well as England has established its “Common Law” in all its previous colonies. EU is found on the basis of both legal systems. Its main principles contain values favouring free and equal justice for all. Non-democratic regimes never have been considered as eligible to enter the EU.
Freedom of justice, government-citizens relations, political parties, parliamentary democracy, have evolved in Europe, since Enlightenment and Liberalism were born after Renaissance. Modern institutions developed firstly there by interaction and innovation, ie the “Civil” or the “Social” State and the fundamental principles for the “Rule of Law”.
One of the Three Powers in every Constitution is the Judicial, the pillar of democracy, social and civil rights. In Procedural Law and Courts, public and Private Law coincide towards the improvement of state functionality so as to provide better life standards to its citizens. Public Administration and Governance cannot be separated from citizens’ needs.
The contemporary administrative and judicial upbringings in Poland and Hungary raise a justified turmoil over the future of democracy in the European Union. Brexit comes as a factor which might lessen democracy in Europe. Contemporary theories in the sciences of Sociology, Law and Sociology of Law need to be used so as to provide viable solutions to this modern challenge.
European Integration and Legislative Approximation: The Case of Ukraine
1Open Society Foundation, NGO, Ukraine; 2Graduate School for Social Research, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
While European societies are witnessing the rise of skepticism and the desire to disunite the local legal order from the European one, the neighboring Ukraine clearly demonstrates the intention for European integration and declares the willingness to take all necessary steps in this direction. The 2014 EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, among other things, foresees bringing national legislation closer to the EU law. The actual progress of adaptation, however, is not impressive. In 2018, only 8 out of 57 approximation bills became laws. Moreover, sometimes the bills, labeled as approximation, aim at things that are not compatible with European principles, such as protectionism or state aid for the "selected few". We investigate why the adaptation of the national legislation to EU law is so long and uneven. We base the analysis on 10 expert interviews and the materials of the Parliamentary Expert Group - an independent expert community created in 2015 for promoting the implementation of the Association Agreement through influencing the quality of the lawmaking. To understand the progress of Ukraine’s legal approximation, we map of the main actors of the legislative process and their interests, and highlight the important institutional factors affecting legislators, including the imperfections of the legislative process (so called legislative "spam" in Ukrainian parliament); contradictions between national (or sectoral) interests and international obligations; specific party culture, lack of the deputy-constituency connection; the growth of populism in the pre-election period of 2019.
Rule of Law in Poland. The Difficult Process of Societal Maturation
Jagiellonian University, Poland
Based on the concept of cognitive and moral development on a large scale, this paper discuss the difficult process of establishing the rule of law in Poland after the collapse of communism. Particular attention is paid to the last couple of years, i.e. to the period that witness an abrupt destruction of institutions aimed at the establishment of the functioning rule of law on the one hand, and the awakening of legal consciousness among the considerable part of society, on the other. One of the important components of this emancipatory process of cognitive and moral awakening presents the visible and rather unexpected growth of professional pride among legal professionals, another the growing popular interest in the constitution and constitutionalism.
Democratic Deficit in the Post-Communist Rule of Law
University of Warsaw, Poland
This paper draws on empirical findings on attitudes towards the administration of justice in Poland (Kurczewski & Fuszara 2017) putting it in the wider socio-political context of developing democracy in post-communist societies.The universal basic dilemma of democracy is symbolised by both representative and direct people’s sovereignty being recognised in the Polish Constitution of 1997. (Kurczewski 2002). The recent attempt by the elected government to take over the constitutionally independent judicial branch had been legitimised by reference to the will of people as expressed through dissatisfaction that was increased by the sudden exposure of the administration of justice to the critical media after the end of the communist rule. The judiciary since 1989 has not only gained independence from government but also cut off links with the people through marginalisation of the lay assessors and corporative splendid isolation. The people’s dissatisfaction is, however also felt towards the representatives and parliamentary institutions while judicial independence is considered as of value. This dialectical and dynamic process is an incentive for re-thinking the mutual relations between power, justice and the people to sketch new models for the democratic Rule of Law.