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Original scientific paper

Legal Science: Kantorowicz’s Division into Disciplines or Functions?

Ivan Padjen orcid id ; Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

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Is Herman U. Kantorowicz’s classification of legal disciplines - which includes general legal science, legal dogmatics, legal history, sociology of law, philosophy of law, and legal policy - a division of scholarly knowledge of law into distinct disciplines/sciences or into intertwined functions of a single scholarly discipline/science? The question is prompted by the book written by Zoran Pokrovac entitled Slobodno stvaranje prava: Hermann U. Kantorowicz i slobodnopravni pokret (Free Law: Hermann U. Kantorowicz and the Free Law Movement ) and published by “Breza” and the Faculty of Law of the University of Split in 2018.
Answering this question may assist Croatian legal scholars in finding standards of scholarly excellence, especially of research de lege ferenda.
This paper offers an answer in three steps. The first is the recognition that scholarly practices differ considerably, which means that the question may be answered only by construing and correlating ideal types of legal disciplines / functions that are compatible with Kantorowicz’s general ideas, prominent interpretations of legal scholarship, and Croatian mainstream legal scholarship since. The second step provides a context of Kantorowicz’s classification, focusing upon the publication of judicial decisions as a trigger of the Free Law Movement and a task that the Croatian legal order has yet to complete. The third step is the claim that Kantorowicz has in all probability considered scholarly knowledge of law to be a set of intertwined functions. To substantiate this claim, the bulk of the paper construes ideal types of legal dogmatics, legal history, legal theory, and, as the most complex and promising integration of the functions, legal policy modelled on Lasswell and McDougal’s Policy Oriented Jurisprudence. The assumption that is stated but not discussed is that there is no clear-cut borderline between legal scholarship and other scholarly disciplines, most notably sociology, economics, psychology and philosophy.


Hermann U. Kantorowicz, legal science, legal dogmatics, legal history, legal theory, legal policy

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