Comparing Law as Science with Science in the Law: Preliminary Thoughts

Kirk W. Junker
University Professor of Law, University of Cologne, Faculty of Law, and Director of International Master of Environmental Science Programme, University of Cologne.

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: September 18, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: Comparative law often compares institutions or sources of law from various countries. This article rather compares civil law and common law families, but does use Germany and the USA to represent the two families respectively. Rather than focus upon institutions or sources of law, this article compares how these two families understand their practices of law, specifically in reference to science. First the concept of comparison itself is examined through its western conceptions in the discipline of rhetoric. Then the relationship of law to science is discussed, comparing the legal standard of scientist as authority on science to judge as ultimate adjudicator on scientific matters. The author concludes that law requires an evaluative element in its practices if it is to effect justice and further concludes that the evaluative element is better conceived by philosophy than science. Lawyers are thus encouraged to seriously consider evaluative practices, but are invited to do so on their own, rather than treat philosophy as a body of knowledge only present through the philosopher as expert witness.

Keywords: comparativism, rhetoric, science, evidence, scientism, moral, evaluative

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Wpływ szkolenia na skuteczność wykrywania kłamstwa (The Layman’s Ability to Detect Deception – Can it Be Improved by a Short Training?)

Jagoda Dzida
Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytetu im. A. Mickiewicza w Poznaniu

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: May 24, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: The study was conducted to verify, whether it is possible to improve people’s ability to detect deception by a short training, and if so, to what extend it can be improved. The results are important due to the potential applicability of non-instrumental deception detection methods in the criminal procedure. The experiment was conducted on the group of students who were asked to decide, whether the persons, depicted on the video, are telling the truth or are lying. The procedure was repeated after a short training that gave the students more detailed information about the most reliable verbal and nonverbal cues to deception. The results revealed that a short training may improve lie detection by about 22%. The implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords: deception detection, lie, training

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The Impact of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) on Combating Cross-Border Crime – Legal and Practical Aspects

Tomasz Safjański
Doctor of Law. Retired police officer. Doctoral degree from the University of Warsaw. He is also a graduate of the Faculty of Administration and Management, and of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. He graduated from the Higher Police School in Szczytno. His police service began in 1994 with a career involving many police departments, amongst others: crime, organised crime, crime prevention, internal affairs, international cooperation, criminal intelligence. 2006-2007 deputy director of Criminal Intelligence Bureau at the National Police Headquarters in Warsaw. 2006-2007 Head of Europol National Unit (HENU). In addition in period 2002-2006, he acted as the coordinator of the Central Investigation Bureau in cooperation with Europol, Police representative in the working groups of Europol (for the strategic analysis, dealing with the development of strategic reports) and a national expert in the Europol Working Group of the EU. At present a teacher at the University of Law and Public Administration, Rzeszów–Przemyśl. Correspondence: 01-493 Warszawa, ul. Wrocławska 10G m. 06, Poland. E-mail: janeksaf@interia.pl.

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: August 19, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: The article presents the role of Europol in combating cross-border crime. Europol is the main platform of EU Member States crime intelligence cooperation, which use the information potential and experience of over 300 national security agencies and police forces. The cooperation is vital for the public security of the EU area – understood as a form of multilateral international connections and channels of exchanging criminal information between national police forces, special services and other state and EU institutions responsible for public security. The role of Europol in combating cross-border crime is characterised by an enormous degree of complexity due to it’s specific legal status, scope of operating activities, and position in the EU institutional system.

Keywords: Europol, crime intelligence, crime analysis, operational analysis, strategic analysis, combating transborder crime, terrorism, multiagency, international cooperation

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Climate Change and Environmental Rights Litigation at the European Court of Human Rights: A View from the Arctic

Stefan Kirchner
RA, Dosentti (Adj. Prof.), Dr. Stefan Kirchner, MJI, is University Researcher for Arctic Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, and Adjunct Professor for Funda-mental and Human Rights at the same university. He is admitted to the bar in Germany, working in particular on matters concerning the European Convention on Human Rights. Email: stefan.kirchner@ulapland.fi; Phone: +358 40 48 44 001.

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: November 26, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: Climate change is real. It is felt particularly severely in the Arctic and in mountainous areas. While efforts to limit the effects of climate change are underway on a global level, most notably with the 2015 Paris Accord, dama-ges are already suffered on the local level. Climate change affects in particu-lar communities which are closely connected to nature and which therefore are sensitive to change, such as indigenous communities. Climate change shatters the capacity for resilience and can threaten the very survival of communities. In recent years, litigation has emerged as a potential tool for attempts to recover some of the losses suffered due to climate change. In this text it will be shown that the European Court of Human Rights, although it has been slow in recognizing environmental rights, has the potential to ser-ve as an adequate forum for human rights-based climate change litigation.

Keywords: climate change, human rights, Litigation, indigenous peoples, Arctic

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The Meaning of Causality of Legal Acts in the Polish Civil Law

Marek Antas
Jakub M. Łukasiewicz 

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: August 9, 2017.

The authors declare there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: The aim of this article is to explain the theoretical and legal subject concerning the term causa, its relation with obliging and disposing acts, and also the meaning of the traditionally known causarum trinity term in the context of acquisition performed among parties. At the same time, the topic of causal rules in the Polish legal system will be touched. It seems worth to further discuss this subject for the reason that the term causa appears in the Polish literature and also frequently on the basis of diffucult theoretical and legal terms.

Keywords: causa, legal acts, obligation, Roman Law

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Significance of Physical Evidence in the Evaluation of a Prohibited Act under the Criminal Law

Marta Kowalczyk-Ludzia
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: November 29, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: This paper discusses issues associated with the evaluation of the usefulness of physical evidence found on the site of a crime for formulating the probable version of the course of the criminal event. For example, the very type of tool that the perpetrator uses usually indicates the intention to commit the act, making it possible to determine not only the scope of the harm caused, but also the motive for the prohibited act. The object and purpose of this paper is to answer the question about the role of physical evidence in the evaluation of a prohibited act under the criminal law. The deliberations are based on an analysis of the results of the author’s own research.

Keywords: physical evidence, murder weapon, intention to commit a prohibited act, motive, impulse

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The Law Standards Determining the Sustainable Forest Management for Economic Purposes

Sebastian Bentkowski
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (s.bentkowski@interia.pl).

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: November 15, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: The purpose of this article is to present factors determining the sustainable forest management of timber harvesting for economic purposes in legal and administrative terms. The Polish legal standards and European regulations adopted system solution in order to ensure proper forest management, especially in the area of timber harvesting for economic purposes. The basic elements of such a system include: (a) authorities responsible for the supervision and control system logging, institutions managing forests also authorities and institutions responsible for monitoring and assessing compliance with the rules of timber harvesting from legal sources while preserving the principles of sustainable forest management, (b) the principles of sustainable forest management and the rational management of forest resources, including a requirement to create forest management plan, a simplified plan / inventory and obligation of marking wood before the sale, (c) the rating system, risk management system, information flow, monitoring the process of acquiring and placing timber on the EU market, (d) types of sanctions for non-compliance with the principles of sustainable forest management, including responsibility for damages (civil law), penalties and administrative charges and sanctions in the form of penalties for offenses. EU law regulates in some detail the purposes, principles, criteria, forms and range of supervision and control of the legality of logging, which proves the importance of this kind of approach to ensure sustainable forest management. Polish regulations refer indeed to EU law standards, but some elements of the supervisory and control system are regulated too general. These include the lack of regulations concerning provisions concerning the conduct of the legality of timber harvesting, rules for supervision, directory admissible evidence, and rules of cooperation between authorities. On the other hand should be assessed positively adopted in EU law and Polish law in structure of the control and supervision of logging in terms of the subject. While creating this structure was used a suitable hierarchy of authority and were assigned the appropriate powers and tasks, maintaining praxeological principles of building structures. This system consists of the European Commission, Member State authorities (Minister for Environment, District Governor, and Customs Service) and external entities (monitoring organizations and operators who place timber and derived products on the market).

Keywords: environment, control, timber

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Comprarative Law, Legal Transplants and Legal Change

George Mousourakis
Ritsumeikan University, Faculty of International Relations, Kyoto, Japan; Hiroshima University, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Japan; The New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice, University of Auckland, New Zealand. The first draft of this paper was completed at the Institute for Legal Philosophy, Law on Religion and Culture, University of Vienna. I am indebted to the Director of the Institute, Professor Dr. Elisabeth Holzleithner, who enabled me to spend several weeks in Vienna as a Research Fellow and to make use of the libraries and other facilities of the Faculty of Law.

Law and Forensic Science, Volume 14 (2017/2).

Submitted: June 28, 2017.

The author declares there is no conflict of interest.


Abstract: The changes in the legal universe that have been taking place in the last few decades have increased the potential value of different kinds of comparative law information and thereby urged new objectives for the comparative law community. The comparative method, which was earlier applied in the traditional framework of domestic law, is now being adapted to the new needs created by the ongoing globalization process, becoming broader and more comprehensive with respect to both its scope and goals. Associated with this development is a growing interest in the question of transferability or transplantability of legal norms and institutions across different cultures, especially in so far as current legal integration and harmonization processes require reasonably transferable models. This paper critically examines the issue of transferability of laws with particular attention to the theory of legal transplants propounded by Professor Alan Watson, one of the most influential contemporary comparatists and legal historians. It is submitted that the element of relativity imposed by the special relationship of the law to its socio-cultural environment must be taken into consideration when the comparative method is applied. However, the view held by some scholars that legal transplants are impossible betrays an exaggeration of cultural diversity as it contradicts the teachings of history and is at odds with recent trends towards legal integration in certain world regions.

Keywords: comparative law, reception of laws, legal harmonization, families of law, legal transplants, legal change

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