WHAT PURPOSE DOES LEGAL HISTORY SERVE NOWADAYS? WHAT ARE ITS THREATS? (Czemu ma obecnie sluzyc historia prawa, co jej grozi?)
Legal history in Poland is imperiled by a few threats. One of them is a model of the university education, promoted by the heads of faculties, which is devoted to strictly legal subjects. It may happen, that historical subjects will be eliminated or vastly limited in the course of the implementation of this model. Such kind of pressure inclines legal historians to emphasize their utility to contemporary legal science.However, it is worth noticing, that there are different dangers that lie in wait for Roman law and for Polish legal history. Basing instruction upon incomplete sources in showing a distant genesis of contemporary legal institutions causes an excessive simplification, which is a serious threat to the reliability of scientific research. The Polish legal history researcher will be helpful to a specialist of contemporary law only occasionally and in most of those rare cases his research will be used to point out the birth of a certain legal institution in Polish law. Another threat to Polish legal history is an intensive interest in mostly recent history. Although, after years of censorship in the state of real socialism, this situation is intelligible, as it resulted in abandoning the research of old-Polish times, nowadays conducted by only a few scholars. As far as the group of Romanists is concerned, they tend to indicate the Roman roots of almost all past, present and future legal institutions. However, this is cannot be done when applying all rigors of scientific research. A drop of the scientific level of publications may be observed as well. Authors do not investigate sources of the practice of the law, the use of legal history literature is insufficient and the publications of historians of other specializations are used only to a minimal degree.Legal historians in Poland have to deal with these main problems, if they hope for the further development of their discipline.
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