Call For Papers: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, Special Issue: Aesthetics of Law

Below is a Call For Papers for the Special Issue of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law on Aesthetics of Law, edited by Kamil Zeidler, Professor of Law and Administration, University of Gdańsk.


This call for papers is intended as an opportunity for dialogue and exchange of views in the field of theory of aesthetics of law. In view of the topics suggested in that call, we propose this special issue with the aim of promoting an interdisciplinary and fresh approach to the subject of aesthetics of law, in the following perception of it.

The juxtaposition of law and aesthetics from the very beginning raised many doubts and controversies, resulting mainly from the fact that aesthetics, associated primarily with art, shows incredible plasticity and changeability, while the law is characterized by a certain rigidity and formalism. The possibility of combining law and aesthetics was born, which grew out of pragmatic aesthetics, one of the contemporary theories of perception of aesthetics, which was born in the twentieth century. According to its assumptions, aesthetics is no longer only associated with art and a work of art and the aesthetic experiences that accompany them, but even the leading theses of pragmatic aesthetics have become de-aestheticization of art and aestheticization of everyday life. The development of pragmatic aesthetics has meant that aesthetic experiences, unsatisfied with art, will be satisfied in a different way, with the help of objects and phenomena surrounding the recipient. As a result, the law, omnipresent in everyday life, has become the subject of aesthetics.

The aesthetics of law actually appears as one of the parts of the philosophy of law that focuses on the relationship between law and aesthetical values, in their broadest sense. The aesthetics of law can be closed in its three dimensions: external, internal and the approach defined as “law as a tool of aestheticization”. This division was made from the perspective of the subject of research, which is the law.

The aesthetics of law from an external dimension deals with all manifestations of law, its motives, symbols and legal inspirations that have been presented for centuries in the fine arts. It cannot be denied that in the history of painting, sculpture, literature and film, there are countless examples of works in which the source of artistic inspiration was the broadly understood issue of law. Law can therefore be a material for art and, just like art, affect its recipients, shaping their perception of law, precisely by means of how it is presented in a given work.

In internal dimension, the subject of the aesthetics of law is the law itself, treated as a carrier of aesthetic values and corresponding experiences and evaluations, and legal activity itself can thus be treated as a creative activity. It is therefore about looking for aesthetics in the text and structure of a legal act or jurisprudence, treating them as examples of “legislative art”. In this dimension, one can also see the identity of legal acts with literary works, find in them a certain literary character or a narrative mechanism, and use tools that are used in literature to study the law.

The third dimension refers to the law as “tool of aestheticization” of everyday life, which indicates the aesthetic function of law, implemented mainly by legal regulation and the legal norms they contain, which are the determinants of what is aesthetic. We can distinguish three basic fields in which the law can affect the aestheticization of everyday life: 1) legal norms that set and promote certain aesthetic standards, 2) legal norms that serve to protect and preserve aesthetic values and 3) the field where law, as an instrument of politics, can be used to fight against certain aesthetic values that are inconsistent with the ideology promoted by the ruling class – the so-called art in the service of state power.


This special issue focuses on a theoretical approach to the aesthetics of law, based on what was indicated above. A fresh and innovative look is important and highly desirable here. Taking this into account, in an attempt to encourage the submission of papers, we invite participants to considers issues in the following grounds:


  • Theory of aesthetics of law
  • Philosophical approach to the aesthetics of law
  • Possible methodology of aesthetics of law
  • Aesthetics of law in different branches of law
  • Sociology of aesthetics of law

Submissions following these themes as well as other possible ways of analysis related to the above topics will be welcomed.


Abstracts of 500 words (max.) should be submitted by 1st September 2021 to Kamil Zeidler ( with decisions made by 1st October 2021.

Articles should be no longer than 15,000 words (including footnotes, summary, references etc.).

The deadline for full papers is: 28 February 2022