'Minima Iuridica - reflections on some (un)obvious legal issues' - lecture within the framework of scientific cafés

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We would like to invite you to another open meeting within the framework of the project 'Scientific Cafés at the University of Gdańsk' which will bring closer the scientific activities of the University employees. The lecture entitled 'Minima Iuridica - reflections on some (un)obvious legal issues' will be presented by prof. dr hab. Jerzy Zajadło from the Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Gdańsk.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 6:00 pm, via the MS Teams platform. Persons who wish to ask questions may do so during or before the lecture, until Monday, May 10, 2021, at the following address: oblicza.nauki@ug.edu.pl. The lecture will be presented by prof. Jerzy Zajadło from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Gdańsk, member - correspondent of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, professor of legal sciences and philosopher, a specialist in the theory and philosophy of law, winner of the prestigious Professor Tadeusz Kotarbiński Prize for 'Minima Iuridica - refleksje o pewnych (nie)oczywistościach prawniczych' for the best humanist book of 2020.

Abstract: In the consciousness of contemporary lawyers, the Latin language has survived mainly due to short sentences, phrases, expressions, terms or notions. Thanks to a certain specific rhythmicity of the Latin language they easily fall into our ears and captivate us with their conciseness and syntheticity, and at the same time, they often convey an extraordinary philosophical and legal wisdom that has been accumulated over centuries in the law and the science of law. We may not know in detail the content of Cicero's works, letters, political and procedural speeches or excerpts from the Digests with the opinions of Gaius, Paulus or Ulpian, but in modern legal language, we often quote them, as their message seems to be in some cases timeless and universal.

It is worth examining some of them if only to understand their meaning, both the one in which they were originally used and the one in which we use them today.

They will not always be the same, because each of these sentences or phrases was formulated in a specific historical, political, legal and social context, but at the same time, they have long since broken away from these contexts and begun to live their own lives.

In some cases, the contemporary meaning even differs significantly from the original. The fact that they are nevertheless present in contemporary legal transactions is best demonstrated by the frequency with which they appear, for example, in the activities of the Advocate General and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

But there is an even better and closer example.

Eighty-six Latin inscriptions have been placed on columns surrounding the Supreme Court building in Warsaw. The vast majority of them come from the Digests of Justinian, so they were written by Roman lawyers, mainly from the classical period; some of these sentences have also been taken from other sources. However, they are not there for nothing or by accident, because they all (and many more) embody certain legal wisdom accumulated over the centuries, and are therefore certain minima iuridica in the sense I have adopted.

When, as lawyers, we cross the threshold of a Polish court, not just the Supreme Court, they should enter there with us. And that is essentially what this lecture is about.

Link to lecture on MS Teams

The series of meetings under the project "Scientific Cafés at the University of Gdansk" is organised by the Faculty of Chemistry UG and the Faculty of Economics UG. The project is implemented under the programme Social Responsibility of Science / Excellent Science, module Social Responsibility of Science - Popularization of Science and Promotion of Sport - funded by the Minister of Education and Science.

More information about the events in the project

Julia Bereszczyńska / Press Office of University of Gdańsk