International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 473-487

First online:

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Interpretation of Law and Judges Communities

  • Marek Zirk-SadowskiAffiliated withChair of Theory and Philosophy of Law, Department of Law and Administration, University of Łódź Email author 


The principle of omnia sunt interpretanda refers to the derivational conception and derivational theory of interpretation. The principle appears in disputes concerning the role of a judge in the process of interpretation, and this has produced an effect that Polish theory of law is currently getting closer to the conceptions presented in the American debate on activism and textualism. In the practice of jurisdiction, the principle of omnia sunt interpretanda is mostly invoked outside theoretical context. It becomes a manifestation of a new dimension of judicial independence, namely an independent authority over the meaning of legal text. In the following paper the legal cultures and legal theories involved in the dispute are being disclosed in order to put in question the possibility of achieving a clear result of interpretation against a background of a crisis of the relations between law and law-making state, which manifests itself in the peculiar process of legal institutions becoming autonomous in relation to state institutions. In this context, the aforementioned principle constitutes the manifestation of the way in which courts come up with a new definition of the role of the third (sui generic) power. The certain organizational requirements placed upon the courts (especially the SAC and provincial administrative courts) are being scrutinized in order to find out in which mode it is possible to at least reduce the degree of inconsistency of the results of interpretation. Here, the attempt to organize a community of judges for the activities of legal interpretation undertaken by them plays a crucial role.


General theory of interpretation Derivational conception of interpretation Court judicature An interpretative canon of omnia sunt interpretanda The so-called indeterminacy of judicial decisions Community of judges