What Is Jurisprudence? 

Jurisprudence is the study or science of law. In the U.S. it commonly means the philosophy of law and aims to reveal the historical, moral, and cultural basis of law and legal reasoning.

Why Is Jurisprudence Important?

Jurisprudence is important for understanding:

  1. The purpose and justification for legislation.
  2. The thinking applied when interpreting laws.

What Are The Main Legal Theories?

There are many legal theories relating to law, here is a short summary of the main 5 ones.

Natural Law

This is the earliest of all legal theories and studies the relationship between nature and society. It suggests that rules of right and wrong are inborn and are not created by society or court judges. It assumes that values or beliefs are universal due to a common human nature and a common ability to reason what is right and wrong.

Natural law may also be known as: Law of reason, eternal law, rational law, and principles of natural justice.

Positive Law

This focuses on the rules and laws being outlined by the governing body as a result of human insistence.  It suggests that the rules of law are made and enforced by the sovereign body of the state. Laws are the legal standards of conduct outlined by governments rather than anything of natural existence and as a result, may vary from place to place.

The THREE main elements of Positive Law:

  1. Command – This is the legal rule given by the sovereign to those under their rule.
  2. Sovereign – This refers to the people demanding obedience to the state.
  3. Sanction – Refers to the evil that follows violations of the rule.

Positive law may also be known as: Imperative or analyst’s law theory.

Historical Law

This is a part of Natural Law and focuses on the influence of nature, logic, ethics, and religion on law. It focuses on a historical understanding of right and wrong in society and that law is part of culture and tradition. It conforms with the customs and traditions, that have evolved over the course of history.  It has been an important part of the development of the Anglo-American legal system

Historical Law may also be known as: Legal history or History of law.

Sociological Law

The sociology of law refers to the sociological study of law and law-related phenomena. It focuses on the interaction between law and societal norms. It views law as encompassing all the legal norms in society as well as the practices and institutions that are associated with those norms including the study of the relationship between law and society, and inequalities such as: Race, class, and gender.

It views law as changing over time to reflect changes in societies’ cultural, social, political, and economic views.

Legal Realism

The legal realism theory of law suggests that law is based on the preferences of state lawmakers and judges. It comes from current social interests and public policy. It reflects the ethical, moral, social, and political beliefs of those making and interpreting the law. When making legal judgments, Judges are said to consider social interests and public policy as well as abstract rules.

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Posted in Business Law, Business Law - Introduction.