The Legal Culture, vol. 2, no. 1, 2019


Filip Ludwin – Editor-In-Chief
Bartosz Zalewski – Issue Editor

Słowa kluczowe: słowo wstępne, Czesław Martyniak, neotomizm, filozofia prawa

Keywords: foreword, Czesław Martyniak, Neo-Thomism, philosophy of law

The next issue of The Legal Culture, a scientific journal of the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, is devoted to the thought and work of Czesław Martyniak (1906-39), distinguished mid-war Polish philosopher of law and researcher. The texts by Polish and foreign authors published in the issue are connected with those scientific problems that were the closest ones to Czesław Martyniak.

Czesław Martniak’s scientific interests were related to some problems of philosophy of law, relation between law and morality, perceived especially in the light of St. Thomas Aquinas’ reflection on law. Martyniak was also well-known due to his Thomistic critique of the normativism, positivist-oriented Hans Kelsen’s theory.

Czesław Szymon Martyniak was born on 24 May 1906 in Lublin as the first and only son of Stanisław and Leokadia Martyniak[1]. Apart from Czesław, they also had three daughters. Czesław Martyniak attended the Jan Zamoyski Gymnasium in Lublin, where he successfully passed an A Level exam in 1924. Then he took up legal studies at the University of Lublin (since 1928 - Catholic University of Lublin)[2]. Although the studies were essentially a four-year cycle at the time, Martyniak completed them after only three years[3]. He obtained his MA degree at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv (the Catholic University of Lublin was not entitled to confer the MA degree in the public law in this time)[4]. Martyniak studied philosophy, too. In 1928-1931 he stayed in Paris, where, thanks to a scholarship granted by the French government, he attended some lectures at the University of Paris and at the Catholic Institute, where he obtained MA degree in philosophy[5].

In 1931 at the Catholic Institute in Paris Czesław Martyniak successfully completed his PhD thesis entitled Le fondement objectif du droit d'après Saint Thomas d'Aquin supervised by Jacques Maritain[6]. Then he returned to Poland to obtain MA degree in economics at the Catholic University of Lublin and became a senior assistant at the Department of Theory and Philosophy of Law[7]. In 1933 he was appointed Deputy Professor at the Faculty of Law and Social and Economic Science of the Catholic University of Lublin[8]. His work The Obligatory Power of Law and Kelsen's Theory, published in 1938, became Czesław Martyniak's habilitation thesis[9]. He obtained an associate professor position on the basis of a resolution of the Council of the Faculty of Law of the Jagiellonian University[10].

After the outbreak of World War II and the entry of German military forces into Lublin Czesław Martyniak initially continued his teaching, but as early as 11 November 1939 he was arrested by the Germans together with other scientists of the Catholic University of Lublin[11]. The scholar was imprisoned at the Lublin Castle[12]. On 23 December 1939, together with nine other prisoners, 33-year-old Czesław Martyniak was killed by the German occupants[13]. He left behind a wife and orphaned two daughters.

There is no doubt that the work of Czesław Martyniak and the scientific problems analyzed by this scholar are an interesting research subject that is also valuable today. Therefore, the papers presented in the issue of our journal are focused on the concept of law presented by St. Thomas Aquinas and his followers as well as they are connected with broadly understood problem of the relation between law and morality, in a very modern context, too.


  1. M Łuszczyńska, Filozofia prawa Czesława Martyniaka [Czesław Martyniak’s Philosophy of Law] (Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 2008) 58.
  2. ibid 59. See also K Motyka, ‘Martyniak Czesław’ in Powszechna encyklopedia filozofii [Popular Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (online edition) accessed 24 September 2020.
  3. Łuszczyńska (n 1) 59.
  4. ibid 60.
  5. ibid 60-61.
  6. ibid 61.
  7. ibid 61; Motyka (n 2).
  8. Łuszczyńska (n 1) 62.
  9. ibid 65.
  10. ibid 65.
  11. Motyka (n 2).
  12. Łuszczyńska (n 1) 70.
  13. ibid 72.