Born Polish in 1946. Educated at the Universities of Dundee (LL.B in Law and Philosophy 1969) and the University of Glasgow (Advanced Study Scholar). Taught at University of Wales, University College Cardiff (Lecturer in Law 1971-1974) and then at the Faculty of Law in Edinburgh (successively, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor of Legal Theory 1994- 2011). I am now an emeritus professor but am still engaged in research but much more peacefully.
My research follows two strands. Firstly, I look at Social and Legal Theory within an ethical and theological context. Here the aim is to produce a socio-theoretical account of forms of rationality in different styles and levels of legal process understood in their correlation with different forms of social order and self-ordering.
Connected with this is my second strand which involves Foundations of Legal Reasoning as they affect the working of the law and legality and help put in place models for the furtherance of just and transparent modes of dispute settlement. This makes the study of legal reasoning itself ethically important. In this context I organised a workshop on the Universal and Particular in Legal Reasoning, the proceedings of which were published in 2006. I will also be organising a workshop on The vulnerability of self and the risk of action. This will be multi disciplinary work engaging with philosophy, political theory and theology as well as with law and legal theory, as well as computer science and AIAI. In looking at what it means to live following rules, I explore a machine metaphor a the view of Architecture as a mode of social regulation. Architecture here refers to any physical or virtual things that consistently constrain certain behaviours while exploring others, they can include physical properties of bodies, properties of computer systems, built architecture, walls doors etc and also law.
Following on from my book Living Lawfully, I look at Exchange, Compassion and Community. Seeing law is a key institution of market societies, I aim to examine the role such emotions as compassion, mercy, hope and love play in exchange and legal institutions in general, as contrasted with the rationalizing features of the market and law. This would involve examining contractual relations and relational theories of contract in the law on a comparative, religious and socio-cultural basis in the context of their public function of promoting mutual, welfare-maximising exchanges. Finally I would look at the types of solidarities and dependencies that these relationships can create, and more specifically and comparatively through their playing out in concrete legal systems. Much of this will involve looking, in general terms, at the relations of Law and Love, especially in the context of post sovereign state architectures for Europe, and in respect of expansion South and East.
I am also engaged in a project on the use of the New Testament parables in legal reasoning which stems from my earlier work on law and love. The aim is to try and combine the two main strands of my research in a work provisionally entitled Parables of Justice: Law from Inside Out.
The Legal Theory web pages contain further information on legal theory at Edinburgh.
I am also working on an AHRC sponsored project 'Beyond Text in Legal Education'
The aim of this book is to explore what it means to live a life under the law. Does a life of law preclude love and does a life of love preclude law? Part of the theme of the book is that social questions also raise individual moral and ethical questions; that to live lawfully implies both a question of how I should live in my relations with my fellows and how society should be organised. These questions must be looked at together. The book explores these questions and in looking at the articulation of law and love touches upon debates in personal morality, aesthetics, epistemology, social and political organisation, institutional design and the form and substance of law. It raises questions that are of interest to students and those working in law, theology, and social and political theory.
It is twenty-five years since the publication of Neil MacCormick's book Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory, a book that has been in print continuously since its first publication. The book was not only a work of Legal Reasoning, but also one on Legal Theory, developing the former through an engagement with the latter, while it also had a strong influence on ethical issues. The focus of the present book is on how looking at legal reasoning can bring up important theoretical and ethical issues, as MacCormick looks at the issues anew in his current work. In this book his views on the Particular and Universal are presented, and subjected to rigorous examination by leading figures in the field.
Zenon BankowskiEpistemology and Ontology: IVR Symposium 2003 (Archiv fur Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie (ARSP). Beiheft ; nr. 102) (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2005)
Born of a series of research seminars, supported by the ESRC and the European Law Journal, this book tackles the most pressing issue raised by intensified European integration: the demise of sovereign states and the design of theoretical frameworks within which issues of post-national democracy and legal legitimacy might be considered. Decoupling "law" from "state", the various contributions raise fundamental questions about the political legitimacy and constitutionality of the European Union's normative order, and begin to develop new structures for the meaningful evaluation of post-statal organization. Still firmly rooted in a liberalized market, but now also concerned with far broader political and social issues, the EU has challenged the traditionally strict demarcation between law, political science and economics. By bringing together all three disciplines to study the legal theory implications of the EU, this book offers its readers a novel methodology: analyzing the constitutionalization of the European legal order with an eye to "real-world" political and economic concerns.
Legalism seen as blind rule following (often embodied inthe metaphor of the "computer judge") is often confused with legality, an altogether more reflexive and rational concept. But legality to work properly needs to be related to and articulated withthe narrower concept of legalism. Only in their complex interaction can we begin to see legality as a mode of organisation appropriateto a free and democratic society. This is discussed here in the context of the computational implementation of legal concepts, an emergingissue in the regulation of cyberspace and other technology enhanced forms of human interaction
Burkhard Schafer, Zenon Bankowski 'Emerging Legal Orders. Formalism and the Theory of Legal Integration' (2003) Ratio Juris Vol 16 pp. 486-505
The argument of this paper is that our lives have meaning because they are structured by rules which are open to the outside, through which the outside can reflexively fold back into the rules so that it can regenerate and transform them. It is this process that constitutes the unity and integrity of our lives and gives them coherence. Our lives do not have certainty in the sense that there is always a definite answer as to how we should live. It is in the reflexive unity of law and love that we have the confidence to respond to the outside and create and transform our narratives, however dangerous that may seem. We might call this “legality” - the ability to go beyond the law at the appropriate time. In this sense then, it is a creative activity and is to be distinguished from legalism, which thinks that following the rules is all that there is. But following the rules is important, for it is only in following them and being faithful to them that we gain the understanding of when to break them. That creativity, which stems from the precarious linking of the arbitrary and the structured, might lead us to think of legality as a form of anarchy - not of the nihilistic variety but of the ability creatively to break the law and thus regenerate it.
Zenon Bankowski 'Legal Reasoning from the Inside Out' in Tadeusz Biernat, Krzysztof Pa?ecki, Aleksander eczenik, Christoffer Wong and Marek Zirk-Sadowski (eds) Stressing Legal Decisions (Polonia Press, 2003) pp. 27-46
Zenon Bankowski 'Europe and Beyond' in B. Lewandowska Tomaszczyk and Irena Czwenar (eds) A New Curriculum for English Studies (Piotrkow Trybunalski, 2001)
Zenon Bankowski, MacCormick D N 'Legality without Legalism' in Krawietz W, Summers R, Weinberger O, von Wright G (eds) The Reasonable as Rational (Duncker and Humblot, 2000) 181-197
Zenon Bankowski, C. Davis 'Living In and Out of the Law' in Peter Oliver, Victor Tadros and Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (eds) Faith in Law: Essays in Legal Theory (Hart Publishing, 2000)
Zenon Bankowski, Emilios A. Christodoulidis 'Citizenship Bound and Citizenship Unbound' in Kimberly Hutchings and Roland Dannreuther (eds) Cosmopolitan Citizenship (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999) pp.83-104
Zenon Bankowski 'Nie Pozwalam' in Aarnio, Alexy and Bergholtz (eds) Justice, Morality and Solidarity (Jurisforlaget I Lund, Lund, 1997) pp. 53-68
Zenon Bankowski 'Subsidiarity, Sovereignty and Self' in K. Norr and T. Oppermann (eds) Idee und Wirtlichkeit: Zur Reichweite eines. Prinzips in Deutschland und Europa (J C B Mohr, Tubingen, 1997) pp. 23-39