Wizerunek sędziego w polskich utworach literackich i piśmiennictwie politycznym XVI i XVII stulecia

Kacper Górski


The Image of a Judge as Illustrated in Works of Polish Poets and Political Writers in the 16th–17th Centuries

Since judges played a significant role in a justice system founded upon customary law and court praxis, it comes as no surprise that their conduct was widely commented on in 16th and 17th century Poland. The purpose of this article is to introduce a literary image of judges and their profession during a given period of time. In poetry and political works one could find either positive or negative impressions of an old-Polish judicial officer. The former was rather infrequent and usually performed the function of literary speculum of the profession, in which impartiality and fairness were emphasized the most. The latter was ubiquitous. Judges were repeatedly condemned for their favouritism and partisanship (especially towards moneyed or powerful interests), as well as their susceptibility to both bribery and undue leniency. No wonder the aphorism spread: “Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through”. Unfortunately, the authors hardly ever provided readers with concrete remedies, but demanded most importantly improvement in virtue. The coexistence of the two different images of judges proves that the society of that time craved esteemed and highly regarded judicial officers, who, above all, were expected to be impartial and objective.

* Praca naukowa finansowana ze środków budżetowych na naukę w latach 2014–2020 jako projekt badawczy w ramach programu „Diamentowy Grant”.

Słowa kluczowe: sędzia, wizerunek sędziego, wymiar sprawiedliwości, bezstronność, łapownictwo, stronniczość, literatura polityczna, Polska, Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów / judge, image of judge, justice system, impartiality, fairness, favouritism, partisanship, bribery, political literature, Poland, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

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