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Class Action – an Analysis of the Relevant Regulations Through a Theoretical and Technical Prism after Four Years of its Operation

The article gives a reflective account of the institution of so-called class action under Polish law. This institution was introduced to the Polish civil procedure on July 19th, 2010 by the Act of December 17th, 2009 on pursuing claims in group proceedings (Dz. U. 2010, No. 7, pos. 44), the principal effect of which has been to make it possible to bring collective actions to Polish courts. Data presented in the article pertains to a period of almost four years: from July 19th, 2010 to June 30th, 2014. The article is divided into three parts. The first one comprises a theoretical overview of the characteristics of the Polish regulation of class action, with a particular emphasis on the purposes that the legislator wanted to achieve by introducing the institution, as stated e.g. in the explanatory statement to the bill. The second part of the article examines the statistical and practical dimensions of the institution in issue. Numerous examples of class actions brought before the Polish courts are laid out, with a selection of the most interesting final judgments, discussed in depth. The last fragment purports to offer a summary of the issue in question, drawing conclusions on the functioning of the institution of class action proceedings under Polish law. Appended to the conclusive remarks is an evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of the current regulation as well as recommendations of the requisite changes in the future.

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Functions and Methodology of Legal Interpretation

The article highlights and enunciates the interplay between functions and the methodology of legal interpretation. First, discussed are three major functions of legal interpretation, namely the hermeneutic, organizational-imperative and argumentative. Expounded are the relations between a legal text, being an primary subject of interpretation, and secondary subjects thereof, including but not limited to legal principles, values under protection, tradition and case law. The matter in issue pertains to interactions between enacting and interpreting law. It is in the next part of the article that the term “legal interpretation” is spelt out, as well as methods of interpretation – both customary (literal, logical and purposive) and unconventional i.e. historical, teleological and comparative. This analysis will be used as a basis for remarks concerning the interplay between the process of interpretation, reasoning and application of law. Concluding the theoretical segment of the article is a discussion on whether a unified legal methodology may be established. What follows suit are two case studies with regard to not easily explicable and justifiable judgments of The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic.

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John Paul II on Laws

John Paul II’s teachings on laws are not only a theological exposition, but also a modern description of interpersonal relationships by means of the philosophical concept of natural laws. Other than that it should remain in line with the general rules of natural law, statutory law is not among his main points of concern. The Pope significantly interpolates the classical teachings of Thomas Aquinas so as to perceive human dignity and individual autonomy as the source of interpersonal order. Having accepted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Catholic Church has modernized its language to restate the same axioms, which previously had been expressed in terms of natural law. Yet, John Paul II proposes his own classification of fundamental rights, where two thereof play the central role, namely the right to life and to religious freedom, which he calls “the heart of human rights”.