Krytyka Prawa. Niezależne studia nad prawem

Kosmopolityczna emancypacja sędziów

Hoff, Waldemar

Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego

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This article seeks to identify the characteristic features of judicial cosmopolitanism and its product – the emancipation of judges from the constraints of national law. Cosmopolitanism manifests itself in creating normative systems outside and above traditional international law. While the latter draws its binding power from the will of states, cosmopolitan rules are usually created by private actors. Their binding power results predominantly from practical necessity. Such is the status of lex sportiva, of the standards imposed by rating agencies, or of international accreditation bodies. Judicial cosmopolitanism is different, for it rests upon the existing structures and competencies. By resorting to alien legal sources judges free themselves from national constraints, thus enhancing their power and independence. In assessing the impact of cosmopolitanism, one has to differentiate between looking up to foreign laws and precedents as binding sources, and treating them as merely intellectual inspiration. The second, albeit it seems innocuous, entails serious perils to the quality of adjudication. It creates a danger of cherry-picking by selecting foreign inspirations, not necessarily best suited to the case at hand. There is a danger of judicial overstepping of powers by making laws instead of merely applying it. By allowing judges to venture the uncontrolled expansion of their powers we endanger the very essence of the rule of law. On a positive note, drawing on foreign legal sources enables judges to verify the rationality of their decisions, as they were already tested in other jurisdictions.


Journal Krytyka Prawa. Niezależne studia nad prawem 
Volume 6 
Issue 1 
Issue date 3/2014 
Type Article 
Language pl
Pagination 33–49
DOI 10.7206/kp.2080-1084.38
ISSN 2080-1084
eISSN 2450-7938