Dr hab. Arkadiusz Barut
University of Wrocław
English abstract: Throughout this article the author interprets the crisis of the rule law in Poland in 2020 caused by the phenomenon described as Covid-19 pandemic as the solidification and consolidation of biopower – the contribution of ideas and practices justified by the findings of natural sciences to the disestablishment of paradigms hitherto recognized as fundamental to the creation and application of law, that is the due process of law or its formal justice.
I proceed from the assumption that the creation and application of law must be grounded in phronesis — the Aristotelian prudence, that is the intellectual process of assessment of not only the means but also the goals. Thanks to the discernment of both the goals and the means in the same cognitive act, one gains the opportunity to distinguish individual cases and insight into specific situations. I assume the phronetics of law to justify and at once enable its acquisition of the property referred to as justice in its formal sense — predictability, non-retroactivity, generality of regulation, and so on. If, on the other hand, the law becomes subordinated to paradigms justified with the use of natural sciences, it ceases to fulfil its function. Biopower invades the legal sphere as a discourse of necessity, such a necessity is in itself the very opposite of the fine art of balancing the various competing interests, appreciating the importance of form and ritual, distinguishing the various individual cases.
The purpose of this article is to analyse the impact of the crisis referred to as the Covid-19 pandemic on law and in no way to pronounce on the medical aspects of its proliferation or express a moral or political judgement of the actions justified by the need to contain it.
Keywords: Covid – 19, pandemic, biopower, rule of law, Foucault, Legendre, Agamben
Published: Number 3(28)/2021, pp.5-21
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