John A. Gealfow

I am a lawyer with the never-ending desire to study and learn something new. Extreme tea drinker. Pedagogy, education and information technology enthusiast.

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I am one of co-founders and current president of the association Nugis Finem, a nonprofit organisation focused on improving legal awareness and literacy of the Czech society. Many problems we encounter in the attorney offices and at courts could be prevented if people had at least basic knowledge about the law and if they would address the problems in time. We dedicated ourselves to solve the problem of insufficient legal literacy of Czech population. We create and provide free online courses made in cooperation with Czech universities, we write an open legal encyclopedia, we visit primary and secondary schools and provide lectures about the law.

NugisFinem.org

I make my living as a lawyer. In our attorney office we provide general legal services - we focus on providing all the legal services demanded by our clients. Therefore, even I practice in all the fields of law. My narrow specialization is, however, contract law, damages claims, law of information technologies and copyright law.

AK-Kremplova.cz

I am devoted also to my doctoral studies while pursing my Ph.D. at École de droit de la Sorbonne in Paris and at Law Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. I write my dissertation on the topic of The Principle of Legal Certainty and Its Role in the Rule of Law.

Education

Comparative Law (Ph.D.) – École de droit de la Sorbonne

Paris 2017 up to now

Doctoral studies performed in the form of cotutelle (joint supervision of dissertation held as double-degree) under supervision of Professor David Capitant, director of the Département de droit comparé.

Theory of Law (Ph.D.) – Law Faculty of Masaryk University

Brno 2016 up to now

Doctoral studies focused on legal theory, methodology and philosophy. The topic of my research is The Principle of Legal Certainty and Its Role in the Rule of Law.

Company Management and Economics (Ing.) – Brno University of Technology

Brno 2018 up to now

Master Degree following on my bachelor degree of economics. In my diploma thesis I research the topic of gamification (utilization of game elements in the non-gaming contexts) applied on design of e-learning systems.

Philosophy & Applied Economics (Bc.) – Faculty of Arts of Palacký University

Olomouc 2014 to 2018

Bachelor degree in the two-field study program focused on the philosophy and its history on one side and economics and related fields on the other. I concluded my study by defending bachelor thesis titled Universalism from the Perspective of Positive Law.

Bachelor Thesis (Czech)

Law (Mgr.) – Law Faculty of Palacký University

Olomouc 2011 to 2016

Master Degree in the study program Law and Legal Science which I concluded by diploma thesis titled Virtual Goods in Context of Civil Law and by obtaining the certificate of Commercial and Copyright Law.

Diploma Thesis (Czech)

Law – John Marshall Law School

Chicago 2015

Study stay during which I competed mediation training and successfully graduated from these courses: Restorative Justice, Contracts, Business Enterprise Law Clinic, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Litigation Technology.

Experience

Analyst

AION CS 2016 up to now

Preparation of annotations and translations of the case law of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic and courts of Great Britain for the purposes of EUR-Lex database. Analysis and indexing with metadata of the case law of the Court of Justice of EU for the purposes of CURIA database.

Attorney Candidate

Attorney Office of JUDr. Iva Kremplová 2016 up to now

General attorney practice including drafting of contracts, negotiations, drafting of lawsuits, appeals, constitutional complaints and other legal motions, litigation at courts and criminal defense.

Analyst

Supreme Court of the Czech Republic 2016

Employee of the Department of Analytics and Comparative Law, where I drafted case law reviews, annotations and documentation to support decision drafting of the judges. I analysed case law of foreign courts and Court of Justice of EU.

President

Nugis Finem 2015 up to now

I am one of co-founders and current president of the association Nugis Finem, a nonprofit organisation focused on improving legal awareness and literacy of the Czech society. We create and provide free online courses made in cooperation with Czech universities, we write an open legal encyclopedia, we visit primary and secondary schools and provide lectures about the law.

Senator

Academic Senate of the Palacký University 2014 to 2016

Exercising the mandate in the University Academic Senate. While being in this function, I have been appointed by the Rector to the Committee for the Information Technology and to the Economical Committee. In 2015, I have been elected also as a senator of the Academic Senate of the Law Faculty.

Internship

Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic 2014

Clerking for the constitutional judge Kateřina Šimáčková. I have been drafting decisions of the Constitutional Court, I also provided reviews of the previous case law of the Constitutional Court and of the European Court of Human Rights.

Portfolio of academic texts

Case Law and its Binding Effect in the System of Formal Sources of Law

In this article, I analyze the term of formal sources of law and I am considering a question whether case law can be taken as one of them in the context of continental (civil law) legal system. My conclusion is that the concept of precedential binding effect of court decisions (adhered to by the case law of many European constitutional court and by European Court of Human Rights) is not so distant from the "classical" binding effect of precedents as we know them from anglo-american (common law) legal systems. There are differences, of course. Despite them, however, I propose to newly define the term of formal sources of law especially with regards to the changing role of case law in the continental legal system. This term originates in the 18th century, but it fails in adapting to the development of the law, especially in relation to principles of legal certainty and predictability of legal decisions.

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Kantian ethics and its manifestation in the current law

The chapter, which is a part of the book Legal Ethics written by authors under supervision of the professor Tomáš Sobek, is dealing with the term kantian ethics and with the question of presence of legal norms in the current law which are explainable solely by kantian ethics (because competing ethics do not provide reasonable justification). Despite criminal law being considered as one of the main domains of kantian ethics, my findings show just the opposite - modern criminal law is much for influenced by the ulititarian ethics. Kantian ethics, on the other hand, has much stronger influence in the field of property rights and rights of a person (especially while connected to the right of human dignity).

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Applying a Right to Access to Public Information at Czech Courts to Gain Access to Court Decisions

This article presents results of empirical research focusing on the question of how Czech district courts provide their judgments to individuals based on their requests using right to access to public information. I present datasets on how the courts adhered the deadlines prescribed by the law, the length of their delay, reasons why some courts refused to provide the information and also the amount of payment requested for the information. The basis of the article is, therefore, empirical, but its conclusions are normative, as its core is critique of two branches of case law of the Czech Supreme Administrative Court, which unnecessarily restrict right to access to public information without corresponding improvement on the side of other countervalue.

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Anonymisation of Personal Information in Court Decisions

The article analyzing the current approach to anonymisation of personal information in the judgments of Czech courts which I have finished in a co-authorship. This article criticizes the way in which Czech courts as public subjects obliged to provide information based on the Czech statute on free access to information for the reason that the courts fail to recognize that there can be no dogmatic answer about what type of personal data should be anonymised applicable to all cases. The courts fail to recognize the conflict between two human rights – right to privacy and right to the access to information. The courts must provide reasoning, which right should outweigh the other in particular case based on the circumstances of the information asked (e.g. information about publicly active person) and on the circumstances of the person demanding the information (motivation of the person and the purpose information will be used for, also the public interest in having the information public), same as other case specific factors. Authors conclude that without proper reasoning about these criteria the constitutional right to the access to information is violated.

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Argumentative Fallacies

The chapter on argumentative fallacies is part of the university hand-book written under supervision of the professor Tatiana Machalová designed to provide students of the Academic Writing course compact and thorough study material. This chapter is the result of my long-term interest in the theory of argumentation. I tried to introduce students to problems of argumentative fallacies and at the same time refute myths that are very common among both, students and general population. I tried to do so in understandable and illustrative way while using many examples. Example of the refuted myth is that the attack on the person (ad hominem fallacy) can in some cases be despite its a priori negative connotation part of legitimate argumentation.

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Language skills

100 %

Czech

native speaker, flawless grammar

90 %

English

fluent speaker, professional level

70 %

French

intermediate

In the media

Czech Television

Discussion about legal literacy on national television

I have been a guest of TV show "Good morning" of the Czech Television to discuss particular problems caused by lack of legal literacy among population and what you need to know to solve them and avoid them in the future.

Law at Five

Radio interview on legal education

The longest radio interview with me so far, in which I could broadly elaborate on questions of broadening legal awareness of general public and on questions of legal education of lawyers.

Houpací osel

Planting the seeds of legal education in the Czech Republic (and the first Czech MOOC)

On the occasion of the launch of the first Czech massive open online course created by our association Nugis Finem I gave an interview on what is legal literacy and which problems we encountered so far while trying to improve it.

UP AIR

Radio interview in the show "Legal emergency"

In 2015, I founded the association Nugis Finem with which I followed up on my ideas I had while in the position of academic senator but which were hard to implement directly at the university. In this interview I talk about our plans and first projects.

Contact me

I will gladly answer any questions and I am always very happy to hear any interesting ideas and project proposals.