July 1, 2013

William Blackstone

image En la anterior entrada al blog, se comentó la hipótesis de Luis Prieto Sanchís sobre el nacimiento de la nueva teoría del derecho como producto de la conjunción de dos distintas tradiciones jurídicas y sobre el relevante papel que tienen los jueces a partir del caso Marbury vs. Madison.

Y por lo que se refiere a la garantía, tan sólo hay que recordar que en este año 2004 en el que se conmemora el veinticinco aniversario de la Constitución de 1978 se cumplen así mismo doscientos años de la sentencia con la que se inicia la historia del control de la constitucionalidad de las leyes, la famosa Marbury versus Madison.

Pero como se observa en la siguiente cita del juez William Blackstone (1723-1780), quien se cuestiona sobre quiénes mantienen el conocimiento de las máximas y de las costumbres aplicables, y sobre quienes determinan la validez en la tradición del common law y contesta que son los jueces de los distintos tribunales. “Ellos son los depositarios de las leyes, los oráculos vivientes que deben decidir en los casos de duda y quienes están vinculados por un juramento a decidir de acuerdo con la ley de la tierra.”

“But though this [ius commune] is the most likely foundation of this collection of maxims and customs, yet the maxims and customs, so collected, are of higher antiquity than memory or history can reach, nothing being more difficult than to ascertain the precise beginning and first spring of an ancient and long established custom. Whence it is that in our law the goodness of a custom depends upon its having been used time out of mind; or, in the solemnity of our legal phrase, time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. This it is that gives it its weight and authority: and of this nature are the maxims and customs which compose the common law, or lex non scripta, of this kingdom.... As to general customs, or the common law, properly so called; this is that law, by which proceedings and determinations in the king’s ordinary courts of justice are guided and directed....but here a very natural, and very material, question arises: how are these customs or maxims to be known, and by whom is their validity to be determined? The answer is, by the judges in the several courts of justice. They are the depositaries of the laws; the living oracles, who must decide in all cases of doubt, and who are bound by an oath to decide according to the law of the land....and indeed these judicial decisions are the principal and most authoritative evidence, that can be given, of the existence of such a custom as shall form a part of the common law. The judgment itself, and all the proceedings previous thereto, are carefully registered and preserved, under the name of records, in public repositories set apart for that particular purpose; and to them frequent recourse is had, when any critical question arises, in the determination of which former precedents may give light or assistance.”

© Jorge Ikeda 2018