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JURIDICA INTERNATIONAL. LAW REVIEW.
UNIVERSITY OF TARTU (1632)

Dear reader,

Marju Luts-Sootak, Merike Ristikivi
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This issue of Juridica International is mostly dedicated to legal journalism as a singular cultural phenomenon. Journalism as a whole can be treated as a mirror or seismograph of cultural and social processes. Legal journalism mirrors the day-to- day of legal culture and records its motions. Historically legal periodicals can be treated as the memory of legal culture. Legal periodicals carry a special role within the media of law and jurisprudence (legal acts, court judgments, scientific mono- graphs, textbooks, etc.). Formally, periodicals are the most dynamic media of law. In essence, they can be called the medial crossing-point (M. Stolleis) where legal science, judicial and administrative practice, legal politics and also general politics meet. In short: any given day of a particular legal culture.

Several articles in this issue were prepared on the basis of the presentations at the conference “Law Journals: National, Regional, International”, held in Tartu on 30 November and 1 December 2009. In part, the conference was connected with a significant anniversary for Estonian legal science—the year 2009 marked 100 years of Estonian-language legal journalism. In its purpose, however, the conference was international, focusing on the identity-related problems of legal journalism in the context of different but near national legal cultures.

The authors of the articles analysing legal periodicals come mostly from the coun- tries bordering the Baltic Sea. The political history of the countries of the Baltic Sea region in the 19th and 20th centuries was so diverse that one cannot but ask what the role of law was in processes such as the hegemonialism of great powers and the territorial and national pursuit for autonomy in its contrast, nation building, development of the legal order of national states and also of national legal language, development of the interpretational thrust of the new legislation, implementation of the totalitarian state goals, rule-of-law transformation of post-Soviet legal orders, etc.

Thus, the articles in this issue allow for a comparison of the relatively more stable legal cultures of Scandinavia with the legal cultures of the eastern and southern shores of the Baltic Sea, which have had to survive major, not always political, upheavals over the past few centuries. That period also coincides with the period of evolution and etablation of special journalism. Legal periodicals might be that useful litmus paper which allows the researcher to obtain an insight into the internal changes and working mechanisms of legal cultures. It is also important to ask the question whether the fragmentation brought about by globalisation might be con- fronted by the tools of regionalisation, which can be achieved by the shaping of the legal public with the aid of relevant periodicals.




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