WINCENTY SKRZETUSKI'S ATTITUDES TO LAW
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The analysis of Wincenty Skrzetuski's attitudes to law shows that this prominent lawyer was one of the first of his times (Stanislaw August reign:1764-1795) who advocated strict adherence to law and emphasised the necessity of fair legislation, in which punishments in the form of 'work for social benefit' were proportionate and adequate to the offence committed. Being critical of the legal system of his times, he postulated abolition of severe penalties in favour of creating conditions ascertaining that a punishment is truly carried out. This Piarist scholar followed the Renaissance views that laws should be written in a concise, clear and comprehensive language, and be free from any contradictions. In his 'Speeches on the main political matters' Wincenty Skrzetuski postulated an urgent and unconditional abolition of torture. Many of his arguments related almost directly to Cesare Beccaria's 'On crimes and punishments' or derived from the thoughts of eminent thinkers like Montesquieu and Rousseau. The views on law presented in the 'Speeches' deserve recognition as an important voice in the discussion regarding the necessity of reforming the laws of the Polish Republic in the spirit of the 18th century progressive views of the humanitarian school in criminal law.
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