Abstract. The main theoretical approaches to understanding the concept and essence of legal culture, its historical development and formation are revealed. The article considers certain definitions of legal culture, including in the branch of law and public administration, formulated by a number of scientists, who mainly focused on the following subject matters of legal culture: law itself, legal awareness, legal relations, law and order, legitimate activities of participants in public relations.
Extended abstract: Problem setting. The need to study the issues of legal culture in state and legal practice and the practice of public administration determines the need for scientific perception of this concept as a characteristic of the entire legal superstructure of society. After all, legal culture implies appropriate knowledge by people of certain provisions of the current legislation, the procedure for its implementation, the ability to use this knowledge when applying and implementing the rules of law. Therefore, the urgency of the priority issue of modern legal culture formation in the process of building a democratic, social, legal state and civil society becomes clear. The vector of development of legal culture directly depends on the social development dominant, the level of its general culture, the degree of freedom and personal independence in society, the level of legal thinking and active stand in life of a person.
Recent research and publications analysis. In recent years, an increase in the interest of legal scholars, politicians and the general public in the problems of legal culture may be observed. The following scholars conducted researches of this issue, namely O. Ahranovska, V. Holovchenko, V. Kamenska, V. Kopieichykov, V. Kotiuk, M. Kushnir, A. Kryzhanivskyi, V. Kudriavtsev, V. Oksamytnyi, M. Podberezkyi, A. Ratynov, R. Serbin, A. Semitko, V. Sirenko, O. Skakun, A. Skurativskyi, S. Slyvka, M. Tsvik, H. Khavarivska, Yu. Shemshuchenko et al.
The following recent Ukrainian PhD theses deserve attention: I.F. Tseluyko "Competent Legal Culture in the Mechanism of Formation and Implementation of Ukrainian Law" (2012), A.P. Ovchynnikova "Phenomenology of Legal Culture: Philosophical and Legal Research" (2016), Ye.V. Pidlisnyi "Formation of the Legal Culture of Future Bachelors of Economics in the Process of Professional Training" (2019), and doctoral thesis of L.O. Makarenko "Theoretical and Methodological Aspects of Cognition and Formation of Legal Culture" (2019) et al.
Highlighting previously unsettled parts of the general problem. To consider different views of scientists on the theoretical aspects of perception of the concept and essence of legal culture as a feature of a state governed by the rule of law, which forms and determines behavioral norms and rules in society, forms statehood and legal awareness.
Paper main body. It is found that a large number of professional scientific works are devoted to the problems of legal culture in the scientific literature, which consider those problems in different aspects and from different points of view. As an independent criterion for the society members behavior, legal culture primarily reflects the processes associated with legal activity in society in the form of lawmaking, law enforcement, as well as social and psychological processes. The article analyzes the theoretical aspects of legal culture perception in the works of such scientists as: S. Nefodov, O. Semitko, Yu. Shemshuchenko, S. Aleksiaiev, H. Klimova, Ye. Nazarenko, L. Avramenko, V. Nersesiants, Yu. Bytiak, I. Yakoviuk, O. Lukasheva, Yu. Dmytriiev, Z. Ivanov, O. Pavlyshyn, O. Skakun, V. Kopieichykov. In general, the elements of legal culture are as follows: law, legal awareness, legal relations, law and order, legitimate activities of participants in public relations, and this is what distinguishes it from other forms of culture.
It is established that a general overview of formulations in the literature and definitions of the concept of "legal culture" indicates that they include various components: material and spiritual, human activity in the field of legal regulation and the results thereto, different levels (society, person, a certain group) persons), depending on the chosen conceptual basis of its understanding. Therefore, it is not possible to comprise a general concept of legal culture from the listed definitions, not only because of their extreme heterogeneity, but also because most of the definitions contain contradictions. Thus, the legal culture of different and even the same authors is simultaneously represented as an objective and subjective phenomenon, as a practical and at the same time theoretical activity, as a social phenomenon and at the same time individual, material and ideal. The phenomenon of legal culture in this form "overlaps" many other concepts close in content, and therefore it cannot be clearly identified and defined. At present, the legal culture of society requires systematic, rational formation, stimulation and positive social development.
Conclusions of the research and prospects for further studies. The diversity of opinions concerning the concept, essence and content of legal culture indicates that this concept is multifaceted, and opinion depends on the fact of scholarly comprehension of legal culture, as well as the context and problems of its analysis. Most authors consider that the legal culture contains a due level of legal awareness; legal knowledge and ideas; traditions, needs, ability to act only in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine; legal activity of citizens, officers, civil servants, officials and lawmakers; compliance of legal norms with generally recognized principles, standards; law enforcement activities of the internal affairs departments. In general, the lack of unity in the definitions of legal culture concept, the contradictions therein prevent the formulation of substantied general concept of "legal culture", which is conditioned primarily by methodological problems, the lack of a clear scientific methodology of cognition of the phenomenon under study. And yet, most modern researchers define legal culture mainly as a legal, philosophical and social phenomenon, while noting the priority of its legal content.
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