Dr Maciej Koszowski
WSB Dąbrowa Górnicza
English abstract: The article addresses the issue of legal gaps (lacunas). Specifically, the author puts forward the general definition of legal gap which uses the concept of ‘automatically applicable’ legal rule as well as presupposes specific understanding of law – namely, that it is consisted solely of the rules of the mentioned type. Next, basing upon that definition, he defines three kinds of lacunas that are commonly distinguished in Polish and international scholarly literature, i.e. extra, intra and contra legem. As it is demonstrated, the merits of proffered definitions are manifold. First of all, they reduce the dependence of the notion of legal gap on value judgment. Secondly, they fairly well fit into the structure of contemporary legal orders. Thirdly, owing to them, the filling of legal gaps is not pointless. And lastly, the other kinds of lacunas one may encounter in academic literature are not at odds with the proffered theory, at least not by definition. At the end of the article, in the light of the main idea of the author’s conception, the Anglo -Saxon notion of the case of first impression is discussed, taking into account different models of (approaches to) the phenomenon of a binding judicial precedent.
Keywords: legal gap, extra legem gap, intra legem gap, contra legem gap
Published: Number 1(6)/2013, pp. 109-122.
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