2020, t. 3, nr 1 (5), poz. 1
2020, Vol. 3, No. 1 (5), item. 1
This is already the fifth issue of the “The Voice of Law” beginning the third publishing year of our journal. Although we continue to refer to “The Voice of Law” originally published and edited by Anzelm Lutwak in the inter-war period, and we maintain ties with the publishing series of the Allerhand Institute, we are especially pleased with the existence of the journal in its present form.
In the first part of the present issue (“Opera”), we publish as many as seven studies. Undoubtedly, the most up to date is the article by Monika Strus-Wołos concerning the state of epidemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus as a force majeure justifying the suspension of the limitation period for claims within the meaning of Article 121 point 4 of the Polish Civil Code. This study is one of the first ones to touch upon the practical consequences of the epidemic. The subject of civil law in the sphere of procedural law is addressed in Tomasz Płachtej’s article on the jurisdiction of courts in the field of copyright and related rights and industrial property law. Furthermore, based on selected examples, the article of Anna Paluch and Piotr A. Owsiński attempts to critically examine the terminology of inheritance law in Polish and German legal languages. The article by Michał Kijak, on the other hand, is a compilation of basic information on the escrow account as regulated by the Developer Act in Poland. A study by Ewa Sałkiewicz-Munnerlyn, in turn, concerns interim precautionary measures in the decision of the International Court of Justice of 23 January 2020 in the high-profile case of Gambia v. Burma (Myanmar). It attests to the constant interests in the practice and theory of international law, especially international criminal law, which is also confirmed by the next instalment of Patryk Gacka’s Review of the Case Law of the International Criminal Court.
Undoubtedly, equally important and timely as those mentioned above are the studies devoted to the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Court. Kamil Joński's article is an interesting attempt to present the functioning of the Constitutional Tribunal across over thirty years of its existence through the prism of political economy. A peculiar commentary to this study along with the author's reflections is the text by Jerzy Stępień in the “Miscellanea” section. On the other hand, the article by Paweł Księżak is a cognitively interesting compilation of data on how the First Presidents of the Polish Supreme Court were being elected in the period between 1998 and 2020. The author deliberately refrains from assessing subsequent changes in procedures and practices. This study was published during the recent dispute over the selection of candidates for the position of the First President of the Supreme Court. The subject of the Supreme Court is also raised in the column “Votum separatum”, in which the Author briefly poses a few questions about the appointment of judges and the legitimacy of the judiciary.
The work “Fontes” contains four reprints of studies from the period of the Second Polish Republic. Traditionally, the section opens up with a little-known article by Maurycy Allerhand – this time on problems in the judiciary due to the Judaism ban on oaths of pregnant women. The second reprint was retrieved from the archives of pre-war “The Voice of Law”. It raises a continuously relevant topic – discretion in administration. Its author, Gustaw Taubenschlag, the brother of Rafał Taubenschlag, a famous Romanist and papyrologist, was murdered during the Holocaust. The third reprint is a short article from 1934 on the changes in the criminal law of Nazi Germany written by Rafał Lemkin, the patron of “The Voice of Law” in 2019. The fourth reprint is an excerpt from an excellent, and unfortunately little-known book by one of the most outstanding Polish lawyers of the interwar period – Szymon Rundstein – In Search of Civil Law. This scholar is also the father-figure of "The Voice of Law" in 2020, and the main character of the next edition of the “Lexicon of Jurists and Economists”.
In the “Res Gestae” section, in addition to the above-mentioned lexicon, we publish an extremely interesting study by Aleksandra Czubińska-Durka about the Lviv’s trial of Joel Ticker, who was freed by the court from guilt and punishment for the murder of a “dissolute wife”. This trial took place in 1932, that is almost at a time when Poland became totally absorbed in another Lviv trial, commonly known today as the “Gorgonowa case”. In addition, the section includes a study by brothers Tomasz and Jakub Kotliński on the mining judiciary in Galicia before 1918.
Original columns and essays constitute an important part of “The Voice of Law”. Of such character is a very interesting text by Aleksander Skotnicki, an eminent professor of medicine and researcher of the history of Krakow’s Jews, in which not only the eponymous Szymon Feldblum, but also the activity of the Japanese consul in Kaunas – Sempo Sugihara – are being presented. In 1940, in cooperation with the Polish intelligence, Sugihara issued several thousands of Japanese visas for Polish and Lithuanian Jews, and today is compared to Oskar Schindler.
Ewa Stawicka, on the other hand, in her regular column focuses on the person and legacy of Fryderyk Chopin, also in the context of postponing the 18th Chopin Competition to October 2021.
In the “In Memoriam” section, the profile of the lawyer Stanisław Mikke, who was one of the victims of the Tupolev crash in Smolensk on April 10, 2010, is recalled on the 10th anniversary of his death and in connection with the 80th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
The entire issue ends up with a short commentary concerning the 1568 graphic by Mario Cartaro, depicting the personification of Justice.
Publishing a research journal which follows the best practices is not easy. It would not be possible without the cooperation and support of many people. We are all the more pleased with the constantly growing group of collaborators and supporters of "The Voice of Law" and new members of the editorial board of eminent scientists from Poland and the best scientific centers in the world. We are equally pleased to welcome new authors, especially Judge Arkadiusz Krupa, whose illustrations perfectly complement four of the published articles.
We invite all interested authors to publish with us. All information about “The Voice of Law” and the publishing process can be found on our website (www.glosprawa.pl).
To the next issue!