Per un'interpretazione retorica della verità processuale di Enrico Opocher (1914-2004)

Maurizio Manzin
University of Trento
Enrico Opocher, one of the most important Italian legal philosophers in the last century, died on March 3, 2004. For almost four decades, he was Director of the prestigious Insitute of Philosophy of Law and Comparative Law in the University of Padua. Together with Norberto Bobbio, Sergio Cotta, Uberto Scarpelli and few others, he represented a generation as well as a season of deep renewal in Italian philosophy of law and politics. In the legal thought of the postwar period, Opocher became the point of reference for all those who neither wanted to join the old tradition (substantially neo-scholastic) of natural law thinking, nor believed in Kelsen’s triumphant legalistic normativism. My contribution is devoted to focusing on that part of Opocher’s thought in which the Paduan philosopher defines “justice” as “a value which makes the law count” (in the sense of its “duration”) and puts in contact this peculiar concept of justice with the problem of the verification of truth in trials and lawsuits. My thesis comes from the analysis of the Opocher’s conception of “judicial truth” as a truth obtained by reflecting facts which are relevant to norms. In the course of my analysis, I criticize all interpretations which reduce judicial truth-seeking to the empirical method. My aim is to move it from the level of mere factual description to the one of “logical demonstration according to the circumstances”. This movement from the descriptive niveau to the argumentative one, will be justified through the adoption of the perspective of classical rethorics, based on Aristotle and Cicero, which shows how judicial truth (intended in the sense of entymematic demonstration) was much more coherent with the very idea of Opocher’s conception of justice.
Keywords legal rhetoric  legal truth  legal reasoning  Enrico Opocher
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