Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
In this, his speech of acceptance of an honorary degree from the Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, the author analyses a neglected aspect of the change taking place in Central and Eastern European countries – namely, their transition towards the status of law-based states. Stelmachowski recognises the absolute diversity of the Latin-Western legal tradition from the Byzantine tradition adopted by the Soviet one-party sistem. He singles out the Polish legal reform of 1989 as an outright change in regime, a revolution, the crucial factor of which is the shift from a Byzantine to a Western conception of law and state. So far in the West we have favoured the first word in the classic slogan of the French Revolution, "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité", while in the East they have privileged the second. The moment has now come to rediscover the value of the third – fraternity, or solidarity.