Lunch Lecture - Ignorance and the Law: the Unknown, the Ignored and the Secret


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Lady Justice – Iustitia – should be blind and is allegorically represented with a balance and a sword in her hands. Does this mean that justice shall ignore certain knowledge or simply ignore certain facts? And what does the balance symbolise?

These are concepts that have been discussed ever since the inception of legal science, and are still subject to discussion. It also shows how the usual approach to unknown questions and ignored issues in other scientific fields may not be valid in the context of legal science. Considering the object of study is a normative system – actual or potential –, the function of the legal scientists resembles that of social engineering, but with limited tools to empirically check the effectiveness of the legal solutions and much of the research output. At the same time, while effectiveness might be impossible to measure and thus remains ignored, there are other fields where secrecy might be the only way to achieve effectiveness. Ignorance, knowledge and secrecy in the legal sciences might have other meanings, or not?


Prof. Dr. Lorena Bachmaier, Law, Complutense University of Madrid

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