Valeria Kraft
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague

Paradigmatic Tensions in Soviet Jurisprudence in the 1930s

Jurisprudence 1/2016 Section: Articles Page: 30-35

Keywords: Soviet legal theory, P. Stuchka, E. Pashukanis, A. Vishinsky

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to point out paradigmatic tensions in Soviet jurisprudence in the 1930s. By the mid 1930s, a free-ranging discussion on legal theory was stifled and severely restricted. The official legal doctrine was held to be the only legitimate and truly scientific theory of law. The plurality of opinions and the free competition of ideas were replaced by uncompromising criticism of all legal theories that were inconsistent with the official dogma. New ideas were judged on grounds of conformity with the official conception of law developed by Vishinsky. The academic discourse was reduced to diatribes and denunciations of betrayal. Even doctrinal differences were held to be high treason. Therefore, most of the members of the Soviet antipositivist legal school surrendered their intellectual independence and revised their ideas. This contribution confronts the official dogma associated with Vishinsky and the legal theories of Stuchka and Pashukanis.