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Article

Легитимность, признание, действительность и отмена правовых норм в юридическом словоупотреблении

The present paper has as its object the investigation into meanings of propositions about legitimacy of law and their possible conceptual interconnection with propositions about validity of law. The paper analyzes the genesis of the legitimacy discourse in law, the criteria of recognition in law and their significance for defeasibility of particular norms of law as a way of «delegitimating» these norms. The author examines whether and under which circumstances binding force of law can be dependent on legitimacy of law and on recognition of law by its addressees. The author points out at some conceptual problems that arise in the connection with discussions about the recognition of law considered as a foundation of its binding force. Different meanings of the concepts of legitimacy and recognition in legal parlance are analyzed, as well as various situations in which a proposition about legitimacy of a legal norm or of a legal system might have effect on validity of such a norm or a system. It is underscored that an indiscriminate use of the concept “legitimacy” in propositions about validity of legal norms can result in violations of such norms by their addressees because of the alleged illegitimacy of these norms. The variety of meanings of the expression «legitimacy of law» requires from lawyers to be critical and to assume responsibility against attempts to deny validity of legal norms because of their supposed illegitimacy, what is not a rare situation in such branches of law as international or constitutional law. Otherwise, language games with ambiguous notions might result in unjustified denial of binding force of norms of public law and, consequently, in undermining the rule of law.