Appropriate forums are indispensable for professional and scientific debates and thereby for intellectual growth, both in the world of lawyers and non-lawyers. With the idea of creating tradition, the Lawyers Association and the Constitutional Court intend to establish a forum stimulating intellectual growth and innovative thinking by organising the presentation and fair of law books. In France, on the occasion of book salons organised ceremoniously by Le Club des Jurists and the Conseil Constitutionnel, enjoying great popularity, hundreds of authors meet interested readers, university students, and professionals. Taking this as a model, the Hungarian Lawyers Association organises this year for the first time the Hungarian Salon of Law Books, which primarily thrives to provide a forum for the publications of publishers engaged in the publishing of law books in the Carpathian Basin, and for related thinking. Thereby, in addition to universities and various talent workshops, also the Hungarian Lawyers Association intends to play an important role in providing forum and framework for the development of innovative public thinking.
The book fair planned to be organised in September provides not only a forum for all-day book shopping, but also an opportunity for the authors to present themselves and to dedicate their books, as well as it offers book presentations and podium discussions with successful lawyers, opinion leaders, and public figures. In addition, the visitors may take part in digital presentations, where online tools useful for lawyers, law databases and law codex will be presented. Within the framework of the book salon the prize for the Ph.D dissertation best defended last year will be awarded, which will make it possible for the winner to publish their dissertation. The publisher Wolters Kluwer will bring to the book salon its award ceremony for the “Jogászdíj” (Lawyer’s Award) which will be organised for the fifth time, where teams of lawyers are awarded a prize in ten categories, and the Lawyer Talent of the Year and the Law Student Talent of the Year are elected. In addition, the involvement of young people, university students is targeted by various quizzes and prize draws. Owing to the cooperation with the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, the imposing building of the Károlyi-Csekonics Palace provides a condign venue for the attractive programme of the book salon.
It is a well-known thesis among lawyers that public dialogues and debate culture are integral parts of constitutional and democratic systems. They facilitate the self-governance of citizens and their participation in in democratic dialogues, as well as in a broader sense the development of democratic public life. In one of its decisions, however, as supplementation thereto the Constitutional Court established that exchange of views, dialogue and, more broadly, a culture of debate are essential sources of the intellectual growth of a community. This is true in all fields of science, including law and political sciences. The opportunity of sparking professional debates on the law is a key condition to the development of both the lawyers’ ethos and jurisprudence. In addition that the promulgation of a law, ratification of an international treaty or the adoption of a final and binding judgment puts an end to a legislative or judicial procedure, they shall also mean a starting point for professional and scientific debates. The thinking that unfolds in the course of such debates, in turn, has a cultural effect. The words of Ferenc Deák are valid also today, according to which “[i]n scientific debates not the person, not the authority, but only the truth may have a decisive force.” The book salon, unprecedented in Hungary, tries to offer a special and unusual point of view for lawyers, law students, and non-professionals alike, with an intention of establishing a tradition. We hope that it not only contributes to the enrichment of our legal culture, but during time it also becomes an integral part thereof.
With kind regards,
Prof. László Trócsányi