Mechanics of Decision. Application of Law and Correctness of the Judicial Activity in Carl Schmitt's Law and Judgement (1912)

Emanuele Castrucci


In order to aim at a more complete understanding of Carl Schmitt’s works, the author emphasizes the intellectual importance of Schmitt’s first writings of 1910, which have been neglected by critics for being considered as merely technical and juridical. According to the author, on the contrary, it is possible to clarify the approach of Schmitt’s mature thinking through them. In particular, the work written in 1912, Gesetz und Urteil, contains an articulate description of the intuitive foundations of the decisionist juristic theory. Introducing with the concept of Entschiedensein the idea of the autonomous tendency of the “random” moment in each decision, Schmitt lays the foundations of a general theory of law, which the author of Gesetz und Urteil however never completed. This theory considers law as being concretized in a particular case (= Konkretisierung des Rechts, Concretization of Rules). Besides, Gesetz und Urteil stated the idea of the juridical determination (Rechtsbestimmheit), in which Schmitt sees the key to free the juristic theory from the traditional methodology, making an absolutely original proposal to determine accurate criteria for juridical practice (= Richtigkeit der Rechtspraxis, Correctness of Judgment).

Keywords Decision/Decisionism, Concretization of Rules, Juridical Determination, Correctness of Judgment.


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