Publication details

"The role of Václav Havel in the Czech critical legal thought"



Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Description Each country has its own characteristic features of law based on its historical experience and Czech Republic is not an exception. Because of it Czech law must be tested even more carefully in the context of its past. The critique of law is a mirror of law itself so we necessarily need to know it to meet the complex legal discourse. However, it is not only the purely legal critique of law which constitutes legal environment. During the period of Actually Existing Socialism there were dissidents who influenced legal discourse maybe more than the official legal opinion of the state. Probably the most important of them was Václav Havel, the later president of the Czech Republic. His point of view influenced legal consciousness during the period of Actually Existing Socialism as well as later after the Velvet revolution. Of course, his opinion cannot be considered as a legal one in the usual sense. But as for the critical legal thinking in Central and Eastern European countries, Václav Havel s ideas contained in his dramas or essays are highly important because of the ban of any official critique of law during a communist era. The only possibility to criticize was to hide the critique into art. Even after the end of communism in Czech Republic, Václav Havel remained a critic of the defects of our state, society and law. In my paper I will focus on Havel s texts dealing with law both in politological and artistic form. I would like to prove and explain how Havel as an important European and international figure influenced legal discourse in Central and Eastern European countries.
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