The developments towards closer international integration that have taken place in the world over the past few decades have increased the dependency of different societies and countries on communication; more precisely on its efficiency and quality. Law also serves as a means of communication, and the role of law in communication along with how the law itself should be developed in changing situations, under the circumstances of greater social integration, are important issues.
Legal regulations depend on geographic, social, economic and other influences. Various international fora discussing the question of global legal integration have also raised the issue of regulatory communication developing on its basis.
The present issue of the journal mainly derives from the underlying ideas of two international fora held in Tartu. The fora focussed both on legal integration and topics of regulatory communication. The fora included the jubilee conference of Juridica International entitled European Legal Harmony: Goals and Milestones, held on 6 December 2005, and the symposium Regulatory Communication and Communication Structure in the Rule of Law, Global and Worldwide Domain, held on 21 April 2006. Several papers that have been published were also submitted independently of the fora.
The former of the above fora was dedicated to the harmonisation of private law, above all to contract law. Namely, contract law constitutes the core of the proposed European Civil Code. Harmonisation of law on the level of European Union secondary law has reached the stage in which the formulation of uniform provisions has brought about the development of advanced communication structures. Here we understand the structure of regulatory communication as a system of structured and organised relations, the objective of which is to create sets of harmonised regulatory provisions. The latter conference indicated that it was characteristic of jurisprudents to attempt to classify law and the related issues as explicit structures, institutions and systems. Thus, the identity of the state and law was discussed from the perspective of communication and systems theory, while procedural communication was discussed in nationally organised legal systems along with the politicisation of law, etc.
The modern concept of law is no longer solely recognition of rights and duties, legal provisions and facts. Besides legal positivism, post-modern realistic (adequate) legal thinking is gaining ground, aimed at communication and attempting to encompass the entire legal domain both from the aspect of legal provisions and behaviour. Schools, doctrines, and customs of law have evolved in different European countries over centuries, yet contemporary Europe strives for a European common existence, highlighting definition of the common share in law, which would ensure the necessary integration, including communication. At the same time, communication must also ensure better integration.
However, to date, no systematically developed theory is available for tackling the relationship between provisions and behaviour from the aspect of regulatory communication both in the legal and social theory perspectives. But the studies carried out in various fields of law in different countries certainly help make the necessary generalisations that may serve as the basis for relevant theory. We very much hope that the articles published in this issue will make their proper contribution to the expansion of the area of recognition of regulatory communication.
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