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Notes on Jurisprudence – Meaning, Definitions, Nature and Scope

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Notes on Jurisprudence

  • Meaning , Nature, Definitions and Scope of Jurisprudence
  • Jurisprudence and legal theory distinguished:
  • What is the importance to study of Jurisprudence?
  • Sources of Law
  • Schools of Jurisprudence
  • Legal rights & Duties
  • Possession
  • Owenership
  • Obligation

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Meaning , Nature, Definitions and Scope of Jurisprudence

The word “jurisprudence” is derived from a latin word juris-prudentia which in its widest sense, means knowledge of law. The latin word juris means law and prudentia means skill or knowledge. Thus jurisprudence signifies knowledge of law and its application.

Jurisprudence -Jurisprudence as a science of law is primarily concerned with regulation of human conduct in accordance with the set values, needs and goals of each of society. As the values, needs and goals are of a changing character, the nature of jurisprudence also keep on changing to Cater to the need of a particular society.

The term “jurisprudence” has at different time being used in different senses. Sometimes it has been used as a synonym of the term “law”, sometimes as philosophy of law and sometimes as a science of law. The present tendency appears to be to prefer the term legal theory to the term jurisprudence.

Definitions

Oxford dictionary defines ‘Jurisprudence’ as the systematic and formulated knowledge or the science of human law,

Definitions by various jurists

Ulpian a Roman Jurist defines jurisprudence as ” Jurisprudence is the knowledge of things divine and human, the science of just and unjust.”

Cicero defines Jurisprudence as “Jurisprudence is the philosophical aspect of the knowledge of law”.

Austin defines Jurisprudence as the “philosophy of positive law”.

By positive law or jus positivism he means the law laid down by a political superior for controlling the conduct of those subject to his authority

Holland has defined jurisprudence as the “formal science of positive law”.

Salmond defines jurisprudence as “the science of the first principles of the civil law.”

Kant defines jurisprudence as “the science of right.”

Roscoe Pond defines jurisprudence as “the  science of law”.

Gray defines jurisprudence as “the science of law, the statement and systematic arrangement of the rules followed by the courts and the principles involved in these rules.”

Allen defines jurisprudence as “the scientific synthesis of the essential principles of law.”

Keeton defines jurisprudence as “Jurisprudence’ is the study and systematic arrangement of the general principles of law.”

Jullius Stone defines jurisprudence as  “lawyer’s extraversion.”

Laski  defines jurisprudence as “Jurisprudence’ is an eye of law.”

Nature and Scope of Jurisprudence

Nature-

It gives us knowledge about the basic principles of law like – meaning of right, duty, possession, property, remedies etc.It gives us knowledge about sources of law. It clears concept of law. It is not a substantive or procedure law. It is a uncodified law, It is a eye of law. It is science according to Austin, Salmond, Holland but it is not a science according to scholars of historical school, it is a social science according to historical scholars.

Scope-

It speaks of the relationship between the law, culture, man, nature and other social sciences. Jurisprudence denotes a logical and analytical study of the law. It deals with legal logic, bodies of law and legal frameworks. The subject matter of Jurisprudence holds much importance in the vast field of Law.

Jurisprudence binds laws to other fields, such as psychology, politics, economics etc. The scale constantly shifts. It is not derived from any legislative act or state assembly. Lord Tennyson calls it, Lawless subject of law. Various concepts like Origin of law, need of the law, the utility of the law are studied by various Jurists. This study of concepts of law is called Jurisprudence.

Like this jurisprudence includes all concepts of human orders, human conduct in state and society. Connecting on the scope of jurisprudence, Justice P.B. Mukherjee observed, “Jurisprudence is both an intellectual and idealistic abstraction as well as behaviour study of a man in society. It includes political, social, economic and cultural idea. It covers the study of man in relation to state and society.”

Jurisprudence is a part of history, a part of economics, a part of sociology, a part of ethics and a philosophy of life.

We can say that scope of jurisprudence is wide & broad.

Jurisprudence and legal theory distinguished:

Jurisprudence is Knowledge of Law.

Legal theory comprises philosophy of law and, therefore, it seeks to examine and analyse the philosophical content of law.

 As rightly pointed out by Fitzgerald, “Jurisprudence covers a wider field of study as compared to legal theory.

jurisprudence involves an investigation of law which is of an abstract general and its theoretical nature while legal Theory on the other hand is an attempt to answer what is law in order to clarify the most of All legal concepts

 Thus legal theory is only one aspect of jurisprudence which is evaluative and philosophical study of law in terms of ends, values and goods which law ought to sub – service. it concerns with living law which is based on felt-needs or social forces and rejects purely technical, analytical or conceptual perceptions of law.

What is the importance to study of Jurisprudence?

Jurisprudence has an educational value. The logical analysis of legal concepts that sharpens the logical technique of a lawyer. Jurisprudence can be helpful to the people to find answers to new legal problems must be found by a consideration of the present social needs and not in the wisdom of the past.

Jurisprudence is the grammar of law. It throws light on the basic ideas and the fundamental principles of law. By studying jurisprudence a lawyer can find out the actual rules of law.

Jurisprudence provides a guidelines to the judges and the lawyers in ascertaining the true meaning of the laws passed by the legislatures by providing the rules of interpretation.

The study of jurisprudence also helps in rationalising the thinking of the students.

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