44 Acta Jur. Hng. 1 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/ajur44 and id is 1 raw text is: 














1216-2574 / USD 20.00                                    ACTA  JURIDICA  HUNGARICA
D 2003 Akadimiai Kiad6, Budapest                          44, Nos 1-2, pp. 1-20 (2003)



ANDRAS SAJO


Pluralism in Post-Communist Law


    Abstract. This paper discusses problems related to the incorporation of constitutional rule of
    law into a pluralistic legal system, primarily in post-communist Hungary. Normative pluralism
    was characteristic of state socialism. Is this pluralism going to shape the emerging constitution-
    driven law of post-communism? The paper concludes that although constitutional universalism
    brought a new dimension to law and in principle has helped to promote the centrality of law
    in the competitive world of normative orderings, it may in the long run remain an elitist tool,
    fundamentally ignored or circumvented by sub-legal forms of social interaction.

    Keywords: constitutional law, legal pluralism, post-communist law, post-modernity


Although   post-communist   societies increasingly differ from each  other, the case
of Hungary   is sufficient to highlight  a normative  problem   of legal pluralism,
which  could  be best described as the problem  of insufficient centrality of formal
law  in post-communist   normative  orders.  Universal  constitutionalism with its
specific value  system  is best  understood  as  a significant attempt  to secure  a
prime  position for state law. This  paper  points to certain immanent   and  social
variables which   limit the chances  of success for creating  constitutional control
over law  and society.
    Part 1 of the paper discusses  certain methodological  problems   of normative
pluralism  and  the place of constitution-driven  law  within  it. Part 2 deals with
legal pluralism   under  state socialism.  Part  3 reviews   the role  of universal
constitutionalism   in shaping  a  normative   order  of government with a new
legitimacy  after the  collapse of  socialism  and  its social limits. Part 4 is an
analysis  of various  forms  of  legal pluralism  (internal and  external)  and  the

      Member   of the Hungarian  Academy   of Sciences, Budapest, H-1014   Budapest,
Orszighiz u. 30.
E-mail: sajoa@jog.mta.hu
    I Although they all started with a rather rudimentary legal-administrative normative
system  inherited from the Soviet regime, their social, cultural, economic, and other
differences (as well as history and geography) make the post Soviet Empire countries
different. The applicability of the Hungarian experience is certainly greater in Poland than in
Russia, not to speak of Albania or Tadjikistan. Nevertheless, given the global importance of
Russia, in certain contexts I will refer to Russia, at least to show how different the problem of
pluralism can be in various countries.

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