The Genesis of Rhetoric from the Dualism of Justum et Aequum: The Links between Law and Rhetoric

  • Bibliographic Description: Regina Koženiauskienė, „Retorikos genezė iš justum et aequum dualizmo: teisės ir retorikos sąsajos“, @eitis (lt), 2021, t. 1 693, ISSN 2424-421X.
  • Previous Edition: Regina Koženiauskienė, „Retorikos genezė iš justum et aequum dualizmo: teisės ir retorikos sąsajos“, Jurisprudencija, 2006, t. 86, nr. 8, pp. 18–23, ISSN 1392-6195.
  • Institutional Affiliation: Vilniaus universiteto Filologijos fakulteto Lietuvių kalbos katedra.

Summary. Rhetoric and law have closely and firmly related historical roots what is proved by the genesis of rhetoric itself according to which a lawyer can really “act” in a court only using his speech abilities. Law and rhetoric are related through a concept of a case as well. Rhetoric in Ancient Greece has appeared under the circumstances of democracy when there emerged possibilities that gave rights and freedom of speech in explaining and interpretation of the law norms and in persuading one’s listeners such way. The young and rebellious thought of an educated and unprejudiced Greek and his freedom to believe in gods were not restricted by any dogmas or catechisms, moreover he did not recognized an unconditional obedience to truth without proof and verification of it in general. The truth of every person is different and thus this can be argued. The key point of all matters is a person but not a dogma. This has generated a juridical dualism rheton kai dianoia what was translated by Romans as justum et aequum (law and justice). It is shown in the article that citizens can search for the truth only when they are free, and the unity of justum et aequum is important in all times. When one turns away from the human rights, the true content of justice, and when the force of the state becomes an essence of justice, then rhetoric (i.e. evaluation, explanation, interpreting of juridical discourse, searching for relation of norms to the moral values, efforts of persuasion) becomes unnecessary for a lawyer. The moral principles of rhetoric, raised by A. Volanas and the other lawyers of renaissance, were based on the norms of classic rhetoric. These principles ought to become a measure of public speeches of contemporary jurists. As a matter of fact, under conditions of young democracy Lithuania still faces the same problem of relation between law and justice.

Keywords: rhetoric, justum et aequum, law and justice, juridical dualism, Andrius Volanas, vir bonus, oratorical ideal, ethics, ethical arguments, rhetorical tradition, juridical discourse.