What Is Legal Nihilism

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Jan Nederveen Pieterse believes that the United States is in the position of a new universal empire after the Roman and British empires, but unlike them, the United States maintains the “Pax” not on the basis of the rule of law, but on the basis of the rule of power. He also stressed that violations of international law place the United States in the position of “international legal nihilism” and that the United States does not recognize other political regimes as legitimate equals. [11] International legal nihilism is the negation of international law. It is perhaps a consequence of the dualistic theory that international law and national law are independent autonomous systems. [9] Serbian international law expert Smilja Avramov has publicly opposed the practice of humanitarian interventionism, stressing that the main danger to the modern world is not nationalism or communism, but the legal nihilism it applied during the break-up of Yugoslavia. [10] It is clear that action is needed today, not just words. The success of judicial reform depends on concrete steps taken by the authorities to strengthen the independence of judges and the judiciary. By its own admission, Russia has not yet gotten rid of decisions based on “pressure, phone calls and. open corruption”. He acknowledges that Russia still suffers from “legal nihilism,” pressure on judges, and the corruption, dependency, and injustice that flow from such disregard for the law — “practices and attitudes that stand in the way of building a new, powerful and prosperous Russia.” In addition, any judicial decision contrary to the interests of senior officials is highly likely to be overturned by a higher tribunal and referred back for review.

The more frequently this happens, the better the legal grounds for removing a judge. Judges internalize these unwritten rules and draw conclusions about what decisions they should and shouldn`t make. As the report indicates, the qualities most sought after by Russian judges are their affability, adaptability and speed of inspiration. Once we have freed ourselves from the illusions of traditional legal theory, nihilists claim that we are left with a sober world “in the cold light of the day of the CLS,” a world erased by speculative metaphysics. In such a world, there are no answers that exist independently of human creation, such as manna from heaven; On the contrary, we are left alone with ourselves, completely responsible for our own destiny. All aspects of social life, including all laws and legal institutions, are not the product of historical, sociological or biological necessity, but of contingent social conventions. These institutions are not based on a global motive and independent of reason or necessity, but are maintained only by the power of the social groups that control them. Nihilists argue that because these institutions are socially constructed, we are free to restructure or reject them all, including the existing legal system. This awareness should not lead to despair, but to a sense of liberation and empowerment.

Nihilism liberates us because we realize now that we are telling ourselves what to do, and nihilism allows us to become masters of our own destiny. Dmitry Medvedev said he wanted the creation of an independent, impartial and fair judiciary. It is regrettable that, despite 20 years of reforms, we are still far from achieving this goal. Sociological surveys and research repeatedly show that the courts have become neither a source of justice nor a defence of legal rights for the majority of Russian citizens. The politically motivated cases of the last decade are only evidence of this decline. In the 20th century, legal nihilism was an integral part of various ultra-left and ultra-revolutionary programs, especially the left (leftist) movements that emerged in all major capitalist countries in the late 1960s. The juridical nihilism of these movements leads to the rejection of the legal means at the disposal of the toiling masses in the struggle against the political power of the monopolies; this idea found expression in the works of Marcuse and others. Once nihilism is exposed as a mere alternative to mainstream legal theory and suffers the same mistake of harboring controversial metaphysical assumptions, nihilists must now show why nihilism is a superior theory. The third part argues that if we engage the nihilist in a metaphysical debate, we should reject nihilism. I argue that nihilism is both an unacceptable alternative to traditional legal theory and an unacceptable way of life for individuals.

According to nihilists, in a world without metaphysics, we must make decisions not on the basis of reason, but on more pragmatic criteria such as commitment and persuasion. The third part argues that nihilism becomes absurd and unacceptable on the basis of nihilists` own pragmatic criteria. We should reject nihilism once and for all as a philosophy and as a way of life. In May 2008, the new President of the Russian Federation, Dmitriy Medvedev, a former law professor, acknowledged that the Russian criminal justice system, and in particular the Prokuratura, still had structural shortcomings that led to the prosecution and sentencing of many innocent people. He used the evocative term “legal nihilism.” He promised real reforms. Depending on the law he rejects, legal nihilism can be domestic and international. The first part of this article exposes the nihilistic argument that the assertion of traditional legal theory as a valid and legitimate guide to human behavior is fragile because it is ultimately based on metaphysics. Then, in the second part, I refute the nihilists` claim that they have escaped the trappings of metaphysics. Contrary to the self-taught claims of the nihilists, they do not offer us a sober world freed from the illusions of metaphysics. While nihilists reject traditional legal thought as being based on metaphysics, nihilists themselves simply replace their own metaphysics with the metaphysics of traditional legal theory. By its own standards, nihilism as a philosophical position is no better than traditional legal theory. Nihilism`s claim that it has conquered traditional legal theory therefore fails.

This article rejects nihilism for both philosophical and pragmatic reasons. Following a critical technique often used by critical jurists, I will engage in an “inner critique” of nihilism, that is, I will take nihilistic criticism seriously and then show why nihilism fails on its own terms. Or, to use the more colorful term coined by nihilists, this article will “destroy” nihilism. Contemporary bourgeois “Sovietology,” which manipulatively distorts Marxist teachings about the withering away of law in the future communist society, has often stated that legal nihilism is a characteristic of Marxism. In reality, the classics of Marxism-Leninism rejected the legalistic worldview as the quintessence of the worldview of the bourgeoisie and legalist socialism. They have always stressed the important role of law in a class society and its state, and have called on the working class of capitalist countries to use the law to strengthen their economic and political positions. In attacking the metaphysics of contemporary legal theory, nihilists use some of the same approaches first used by legal realists in the first half of the twentieth century. Legal realists, for example, exposed nineteenth-century formalism as based on a metaphysics that postulated concepts of law that already existed in a Platonic sky. According to the nihilists, the right-wing realists have not gone far enough and the nihilists are trying to “maintain the realistic project”. By exposing the metaphysics of mainstream legal thought to levels where legal realists did not think they were looking, that is, at its foundations, nihilists believe that they have defeated traditional legal theory once and for all.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 paved the way for renewed legal and judicial reforms. 22. A Declaration on the Rights and Freedoms of the Person and of the Citizen was adopted in November 1991.