February 28, 2024
A statue of Lady Justice

The philosophy or study of law is known as jurisprudence. Many scholars and thinkers in the field of Jurisprudence have attempted to provide a general explanation for a deeper comprehension of the legislative process. Beginning in the eighteenth century, natural law, civil law, and the law of nations served as the cornerstones of modern jurisprudence.

The goal of the different theoretical approaches to the study of law, known as schools of jurisprudence, is to comprehend the nature, intent, and social role of law. The basic tenets of these approaches vary with regard to the nature of the law, the function of the state, the connection between morality and the law, the relationship between the law and society, and the origin of legal authority.

schools of jurisprudence and their importance

There are basically5 schools of jurisprudence. They are as follows:

Philosophical School of Jurisprudence:

Moral School is another name for this type of school. This school’s main goal is to ascertain the rationale behind the establishment of a given law. Hegel, Grotius, and Immanuel Kant are among the esteemed legal scholars in this school. In essence, they believe that human reason gave rise to law, which has as its ultimate goal the elevation and celebration of human identity.  Of the philosophers, Hegel appears to be the most convincing. He says that the law and the state are both evolving.

Its Importance:

  • Grotius emphasized the role that morals play in characterizing moral behaviour in society and developed a system of natural law that, due to its intrinsic moral value, ought to be respected by all.
  • Kant acknowledged that each person has a natural right to freedom under general law, even when that freedom is shared by others.
  • Hegel emphasized the value of an individual’s liberty and opposed the suppression of free will in favour of state objectives.

Historical School of Jurisprudence:

Legal experts from the Historical School talk about the relationship between society and the law. Montesquieu, Savigny, George Friedrich are among the esteemed legal scholars in this school. All of society’s laws and customs make up the state’s legal system. The specific needs and desires of a community are intimately linked to the social structure of that society. This concept shows how historical causes and effects led to the rule. The general public’s awareness is crucial to the law. The understanding dates back to the early days of the public because nobody possessed the power to rule as a sovereign and enact laws.

Its Importance:

  • Conflicts were better understood when George Friedrich distinguished between the individual and the general will.
  • Savigny’s theory placed a strong emphasis on how culture and individual character have shaped the development of law. It sowed the seeds for the evolution of evolutionary and sociological law.
  • According to Montesquieu, laws should adapt to the shifting needs of society. He didn’t develop any theories or philosophies regarding how society and the law interact.

Realistic School of Jurisprudence:

The Realist School is a sociological perspective that concentrates on legal judgments and assessments. John Chipman Grey and Jerome Frank are among the esteemed legal scholars in this school. It examines what judges and the general public are actually doing, which challenges conventional legal values and concepts. This movement emphasizes how crucial the judicial system is to the administration of justice. The realist school of thought connects law to reality and holds that it is real.

The American Realist movement and the Scandinavian Realist movement are the two different realist schools. While the latter only trusted their own experiences, the former observed judgments and learned from them.

Its Importance:

  • Grey’s theory has several advantages, such as being applicable to actual circumstances, allowing for individual interpretation, and emphasizing “what law is” as opposed to “what law ought to be.” He has also seen instances akin to these in the past.
  • Frank emphasizes that in the name of precedents or codification, judges and attorneys should not rely on legal certainty.
  • Frank draws attention to the beneficial work that judges and attorneys ought to perform.
  • Frank highlights the significance of legislating by assessing each case’s facts in light of shifting societal norms.
  • Frank is an advocate for keeping things in proportion and for the law to evolve alongside society.

Sociological School of Jurisprudence:

This school views the law as a social marvel and views it as a tool for social advancement. Roscoe Pound and Dugit are among the esteemed legal scholars in this school. This university investigates the interactions between society and the law. This school holds that the general will of society produces the law. Numerous factors led to the development of this methodology. This approach emerged in part because of the historical school, the philosophical movement, as well as the comparative study of legal systems.

Its Importance:

  • Roscoe Pound’s theory has concentrated on how laws work in real-world situations and how jurists contribute to the creation of welfare states.
  • Roscoe Pound examines how the law functions as opposed to its theoretical underpinnings.
  • Roscoe Pound views the law as a social structure that can be enhanced by human endeavour, and it is up to us to identify and bring about such an enhancement.
  • Roscoe Pound places more emphasis on the social purposes of law than on punishments.
  • According to this Roscoe Pound theory, legal precepts should serve as a roadmap for achieving socially desirable outcomes.
  • According to Dugit’s theory, society should be peaceful and cohesive.
  • By contrasting the state with any other organization, Dugit also casts doubt on the idea of state sovereignty.

Analytical School of Jurisprudence:

This approach, sometimes known as the Austinian School, is credited to John Austin. John Austin and Bentham are among the esteemed legal scholars in this school. According to this school, the law is an instruction from the Sovereign, the ultimate power. This school holds that the state comes first and law comes second. Law is the command of the sovereign. Legislation is regarded by proponents of this school as the primary source of law. They contend that custom has no legal standing.

Its Importance:

  • Austin provides a concise and precise definition of law that establishes the parameters that jurisprudence must operate within.
  • Austin’s positivist methodology firmly established the groundwork for English jurisprudence.
  • Austin made a crucial statement about a universal truth: the State makes and upholds laws.
  • A new era of legal reforms in England was ushered in by Bentham’s ideas and enthusiasm. He offered novel concepts for legal research and lawmaking.
  • Many jurists were inspired by his definition of law and the definition of legal terms, which they improved upon and used as a foundation for new schools.
  • Bentham also addressed questions about the character of positive law.

The schools of law help us understand how society, the law, and the need for the law came to be, as well as how the law was gradually changed to meet the needs of the populace. Because we all contribute to society in different ways and have done so for a very long time, the schools of law also help us understand why we are here.

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