The word jurisprudence derives from the Latin term juris prudentia, which means "the study, knowledge, or science of law." In the United States, jurisprudence commonly means the philosophy of law. Legal philosophy has many aspects, but four of them are the most common:
- The first and the most prevalent form of jurisprudence seeks to analyze, explain, classify, and criticize entire bodies of law. Law school textbooks and legal encyclopedias represent this type of scholarship.
- The second type of jurisprudence compares and contrasts law with other fields of knowledge such as literature, economics, religion, and the social sciences.
- The third type of jurisprudence seeks to reveal the historical, moral, and cultural basis of a particular legal concept.
- The fourth body of jurisprudence focuses on finding the answer to such abstract questions as "What is law?" and "How do judges (properly) decide cases?"
Schools of Jurisprudence
Formalism vs. realism.
Apart from different types of jurisprudence, different schools of jurisprudence exist. Formalism , or conceptualism, treats law like math or science. Formalists believe that a judge identifies the relevant legal principles, applies them to the facts of a case, and logically deduces a rule that will govern the outcome of the dispute . In contrast, proponents of legal realism believe that most cases before courts present hard questions that judges must resolve by balancing the interests of the parties and ultimately drawing an arbitrary line on one side of the dispute. This line, realists maintain, is drawn according to the political, economic, and psychological inclinations of the judge. Many legal realists believe that a judge is able to shape the outcome of the case based on personal biases.
Positivists v. Naturalists
Apart from the realist-formalist dichotomy, there is the classic debate over the appropriate sources of law between positivist and natural law schools of thought. Positivists argue that there is no connection between law and morality and the only sources of law are rules that have been expressly enacted by a governmental entity or court of law. Naturalists, or proponents of natural law , insist that the rules enacted by the government are not the only sources of law. They argue that moral philosophy, religion, human reason and individual conscience are also integrated parts of the law.
Some have attempted to break down schools of positivism and naturalism (aka: anti-positivism) into 3 distinct groups :
Exclusive legal positivists
- According to exclusive legal positivists, what makes up the law is exclusively determined by social facts
- According to anti-positivists, moral facts determine the legal relevance of actions which people/institutions take
Inclusive legal positivists
- According to inclusive legal positivists, moral facts might play a part in determining the content of the law, but only if the relevant social practices assign them that role. Inclusive legal positivism is a form of positivism because it holds that social facts are the ultimate determinants of the content of the law, and that the law might be determined by social facts alone. It allows that people might choose to have the content of their law depend on moral facts, as they seem to do, for example, when they prohibit punishment that is cruel, or confer rights to legal protections that are equal.
The schools of legal thought mentioned above are only part of a diverse jurisprudential picture of the United States. Other prominent schools of legal thought exist. These include but are not limited to:
- critical legal theory
- feminist jurisprudence
- law and economics
- legal pragmatism
More more on jurisprudence, see this Yale Law Journal Article , Washington University Jurisprudence Review , and this Michigan Law Article .
[Last updated in June of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team ]
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Fall 2021 • Course
Exam Type: Any Day Take-home
Jurisprudence is the silent and controlling partner in every judge’s and every lawyer’s reasoning about law. A judge, a lawyer, a citizen, a law student cannot answer any legal question without a sufficiently clear sense of what law is— as distinct, say, from religion, or hard science or social science— and what it is that constitutes legal reasoning and argument (as opposed to, say, reasoning in empirical science or theology or mathematics or logic). What sources may a judge consult to resolve a legal dispute, and on what sources should a lawyer rely in making an argument on behalf of a client? Only such commonplace sources as case precedents, statutes, constitutional provisions, administrative regulations, executive orders? May she also consult the bible, or works by moral, political, and legal philosophers? Why or why not?
These and related questions are the subject matter of Jurisprudence and of this course. In our exploration of these themes, we will consider competing explanations of the concept of law (among legal positivists, legal realists, natural law theorists, critical legal studies theorists), the role of social and political contest in lawmaking and law application (including approaches to this issue that focus on race, class, and gender in their explanations of law and legal institutions), the nature, extent and limits of reason and rationality in legal argument, the role of virtue in judging and lawyering, and the values that do or should guide legal factfinding.
No special background is required. Work for the course consists of class participation and a take-home exam. Cross-registrants are welcome. Anyone seeking information about this course should feel free to contact Professor Scott Brewer at [email protected].
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Jurisprudence may be the study and idea of law. College students in jurisprudence, also called legal theorists, hope to secure a deeper understanding on the nature of regulation, of legal thought, legal systems and of legal organizations. Modern jurisprudence began inside the 18th century and was devoted to the first principles on the natural law, city law, and legal issues of nations. General jurisprudence can be broken into groups both by the kind of question scholars seek out to answer and by the theories of jurisprudence, as well as schools of considered, regarding how individuals questions are greatest answered.
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Jurisprudence – Notes, Cases & Study Material
Jurisprudence is the study of the theory and philosophy of law. learn from legal bites comprehensive course..
Jurisprudence is the study of the theory and philosophy of law. The subject, in its entirety, differs from other social sciences. This has given rise to several debates with regard to the nature of jurisprudence as a science vis-à-vis its nature as art.
To help students become proficient in the study of Jurisprudence, Legal Bites has created a comprehensive course consisting of 5 modules and an additional section which contains well-researched and informative articles on a range of topics.
The study material provides detailed insight into all three branches of jurisprudence: analytical , sociological , and theoretical . By the end of this course, readers will be able to understand the fundamentals of law, and gain the necessary legal acumen to interpret and familiarize themselves with legal systems and thought.
Important articles and study material on Jurisprudence – Click on the topics to Read:
Module 1: introduction and sources of law.
- Meaning of the term 'jurisprudence', Importance and Indian Perspective
- 1000+ Detailed Questions MCQ Test Series for Competitions (Redirect to Law Aspirants)
- Nature and definition of law
- Relation between Law and Morality
- Law and Justice
- Sources of Law
- Jurisprudence & Other Social Sciences: Evaluating the Interrelation
- Different Approaches towards the Study of Jurisprudence
Understanding Law and Justice: Different Theories
Module 2: Schools of Jurisprudence
- Criticism of Austin's theory of positivism
- Historical School of Jurisprudence
- Sociological School of Jurisprudence
- Natural law School
- Kelsen's Pure Theory of Law & HLA Hart's Theory
- Legal Realism – American Realism and the Scandinavian Realists
Module 3: Ownership, Possession, and Property
- Possession: Definition, concept, and importance
- Ownership: Definition, Concept and Kinds
- Relation between Possession and Ownership
- Kinds of property
Module 4: Concept of Rights and Duties
- Rights, Duties, and Wrongs: An Overview
- Hohfeld's Theory of Jural Relations
Module 5: Constitutionalism
- Evolution of liberal theories of justice
- Role of State in Maintaining Freedom
- Marxism and the element of ideology in law
- Role of culture in constitutionalism
- Notion of otherness and the politics of difference
Other Important Articles
- Meaning, Nature And Scope of Jurisprudence
- Sources of Law by Shubhendu
- Sources of Law by Mayank Shekhar
- Schools of Jurisprudence
- Renaissance Period of Natural Law
- Analytical School
- Historical School
- Sociological School
- Nature, Purpose and Functions of Law
- Kinds of Law
- Theories Of Juristic Personality
- Concept Of State And Sovereignty
- Concept Of Legal Rights
- Rights and Duties in Jurisprudence
- Concept of Justice
- Administration Of Justice
- Obiter Dicta
- Ratio Decidendi
- Legislation and its Types
- Laws of Property Under Jurisprudence
Comparative Analysis of Legal Concepts of Ownership & Possession
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Meaning, Scope and Nature of Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence comes from the Latin word ‘jurisprudential’ meaning “knowledge of Law”. Bentham and Austin had provided the earliest description of this term. Since then, the spectrum of jurisprudence has grown in many areas and now it covers the whole gamut of law, not just positive laws. It’s the study of the basic principles of law. The judiciary’s versatility in interpreting the law to support the State’s social welfare ends has also led to a major expansion of the jurisprudence.
Jurisprudence binds laws to other fields, such as psychology , politics , economics etc. The scale of that always varies. It is not derived from any legislative act or state assembly. Lord Tennyson calls it the “topic of Lawless Law ”. Related principles such as the roots of law, the need for law, the importance of law are discussed by related lawyers. This analysis of legal principles is called Jurisprudence.
Jurisprudence allows us to grasp the more abstract nature of the law. Jurisprudence is an important part of the law that is based on different hypotheses and interpretations . Jurisprudence speaks of the relationship between the law, culture, man, nature and other social sciences.
Jurisprudence denotes a logical and analytical study of the law. The term Jurisprudence originated from the Latin word “ Juris ” and “ prudentia ”, which can be divided into two sections, and that is the jurisprudence that originated from the word “ jus ”, meaning “ law ”, and the word “ prudential ”, meaning “ prudence ”, forethought, or discretion.
Jurisprudence can also be referred to as a legal philosophy. Jurisprudence offers us an outline and a much deeper understanding of the law and the role the law plays in society. 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.
Importance of Jurisprudence:-
- Fundamental significance is of utmost importance under the field of the study of jurisprudence. Jurisprudence consists primarily of analysis and the process for building and clarifying the fundamental principles of law. Jurisprudence is not about making the new rules; rather, it focuses on current rules in the structure and jurisprudence, and its ideas will help lawyers develop a different, much better procedure and rules while practicing.
- Jurisprudence can support students too. In students life it has its own scholastic value. Jurisprudence not only focuses on primary laws but also addresses the social impact of those laws. Jurisprudence incorporates both theoretical and logical study of legal principles.
- Jurisprudence frequently reflects on the law and its importance for society. There is discussion of justice and the articulation of law. It deals with the fundamental principles of the in the eye of law. It helps a person understand the thoughts of law and its divisions.
- Jurisprudence is the grammar of law, too. It helps a person understand the language and the legal grammar. Compared with ordinary language, legal language and grammar are somewhat different, so Jurisprudence teaches a lawyer’s mind so that he can use proper legal terminology and phrases.
- Jurisprudence provides interpretation rules and, as a result, helps judges and lawyers understand the importance of laws passed by lawmakers.
- Jurisprudence and its relationship with other social sciences provide students with a broad spectrum of understanding how law can be related and linked to other disciplines.
- Jurisprudence teaches people that the answer to a legal problem is not hidden in the past or awaiting in the future, rather than hidden around them in the fundamentals of legal studies in the answer to a legal issue.
- Jurisprudence also discusses political and legal rights, and how the system can strive to balance them.
Nature of Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence analyses conceptions of law. It also seeks to figure out what the basic concepts of law are. It not only analyses the already defined laws but also analyses and sets the foundation for new rules. It is the product of Jurists ‘and Philosophers’ thought. They have the right to view, analyze and comment about the legal system. As such, it can be viewed as an analytical exercise that does not have immediate practical application. It sets the tone for legislative change.
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.
Jurisprudence offers answers to multidimensional legal questions . It helps in overall growth of society. It enhances the capacity of the lawyer to justify rational reasoning. It blesses or hastens a lawyer’s skill with a sense of philosophy, ethics and morality which helps them move forward in their discipline. There are also occasions when there are loopholes in the rules; Judges choose the path of Jurisprudence at those periods. Jurisprudence is the theoretical foundation of the law , and without it; it is not possible to enforce the law in effect.
Schools of Jurisprudence
1) Analytical or Imperative School (Positivism)
The analytical school is constructive ‘in its approach to social legal issues. It focuses on things as they are and not what they should be. The positivists’ main concern is the statute, which is currently considered positum , and not the ideal Law . Legislation, judicial precedents and common law are the most relevant legal sources.
Analytical school’s motto is “ Ubi civitas ibI lex” i.e. “ where there is State, there will be no anarchy ”; State is a necessary evil.
The main proponents of this school are: Bentham, Holland, Austin, Salmond , etc:
a) Bentham’s concept of Law:-
Bentham (1748-1832), the founder of Positivism , should be considered the father of analytical positivism , and not Austin, as is generally assumed (Austin owes much to Bentham, in fact). He was a codified law (Legislation) fighter. The purpose of Bentham’s work was to ensure the indispensable implementation of a civil code .
Bentham differentiated expository jurisprudence from censorial jurisprudence (i.e., what the law should be). His definition of law is imperative, i.e. law is the assembly of signs, statements of will conceived or embraced in a state by a sovereign.
According to him, the role of law must be to achieve these ends, i.e. providing food, creating wealth, fostering equality, and preserving security. Bentham’s philosophy of hedonism or pain and satisfaction principle has been questioned on the basis that suffering and pain alone cannot be the only measure of the law’s adequacy.
b) Austinian Concept of Law:
John Austin (1790-1859) was a professor at the University of London. He applied empirical method: Law should be carefully examined and evaluated, and the underlying theory should be discovered and his area of analysis limited only to the Positive Law (Jus positivism) .
Law, so-called simply and strictly law, set by political superiors to inferiors. Thus, the school he founded is called by different names, logical, positivistic and analytical positivism. Austin is believed to be the founder of English jurisprudence.
Austin defined law as a rule set for an intelligent being’s guidance by an intelligent being having power over him. According to him, so-called proper law includes: law of God, laws of man and rules of positive nature.
According to him every rule, properly named, must have three elements, command, sanction and sovereign elements . According to him, law is a sovereign’s order, which mandates his subjects to do or refrain from such actions . If the order is not obeyed, an implicit threat of a punishment occurs.
c) Hart’s Concept of Law:
Professor Hart (1907) can be regarded as the leading representative of British positivism in the present day. He wrote an important book “ The Law’s Definition ”, questioning the theory of Austin. According to Hart, Law consists of laws that are broad-based and non-optional in nature, but at the same time appropriate for formalization, regulation and adjudication. He said law is a set of social rules that acquire the character of legal laws (laws arising from social pressure). Law is a set of laws which can be publicly ascertained. In Hart’s opinion , law is analogous to a legal structure .
According to Hart, there are two types of rules where the primary rule establishes norms of conduct or imposes duties (i.e. international law), while the secondary rule is the rule under which the primary rules may be created, added, omitted or changed. The secondary rules are public or private (e.g. Laws, Constitution) rules which impart power. From these the rules of recognition are derived and provide authoritative criteria for the identification of primary rules of obligation.
2) Philosophical school or Natural law school
The school of philosophy or ethics is concerned primarily with the relationship of law to certain principles the law is intended to achieve . It seeks to examine the reason for which it has passed a specific law. It has no historical or analytical substance to it. This school’s most notable jurists are Grotius (1583-1645), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), and Hegel (1770-1831).These jurists do not recognize law either as a ruler’s arbitrary order, or as the development of historical necessity. The law is for them the product of human reason and its aim is to uplift and ennoble human personality.
3) Historical School
Law so closely touches real life that seeing the action of laws in their social setting is only normal. The Functional Approach to Law (Historical and Sociological Schools) emphasizes actual social circumstances as giving rise to law and legal structures, and is concerned not with the person but with the associated man. The historical school arose as a response to legal theories promoted by logical positivists (as they failed to meet people’s needs) and the thinkers of natural law. This school’s motto is “ Ubi societas ibi lex ”, that is to say, “ where there is culture, there is law.”
4) Sociological School
Auguste Comte was the first to use the term sociology, and is considered the father of sociology research by some jurists. The approach used by Comte may be called scientific positivism . He pleads for applying scientific method to sociological research. Society is like an organism and if it is driven by scientific principles it will advance.
Herbert Spencer introduced the organic theory of society in a scientific analysis.
He applied sociology to the evolutionary pattern of society.
Duguit was influenced by Durkhiem who took inspiration from Comte himself. Durkhiem’s key argument, on which Duguit focused himself, was that he made a distinction between two kinds of men’s needs in society.
1. There are certain individual needs that are addressed by mutual assistance and
2. The needs of individuals are varied and met by the exchange of services.
Therefore the most critical aspect of social stability is the division of labor. He called it Unity with society. This social cohesion grows through the creation of free individual activities.
5) Realist School
Sociological Jurisprudence in America formed an extreme wing under the realist school name. They are concerned with researching the law as it operates and functions which means examining the social forces that make a law on the one hand and the social consequences on the other. Instead of abstracting logical deductions from general rules and the inarticulate conceptual premises underlying a legal system, they focus more on what the courts can do.
American Realism is not a jurisprudence school but a thinking pedagogy.
Scope of Jurisprudence
The scope of Jurisprudence has been aptly put forth by Karl Lwellyn to be ‘ as bigger as law and bigger ’. The scope of Jurisprudence has been dealt with in the following sub-heads:
Living Law Concept & Social Engineering
In addition to the study of formal law or paper law it aims at the practical study of law. Ehrlich’s definition of Living Law linked law to the actual existence of society and thus promoted the empirical study of law within the context of society. The significance in India of Living Law becomes imperative because there is a large gap between formal legislation and norms which are prevalent in culture . An example of the difference between practicalities in society and formal laws can be laid down in the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 , where further changes were made to the laws to make the offence punishable with stringent Punishments but the mischief in the society is not curtailed.
The spectrum of jurisprudence is not limited to one or only a few legal frameworks being studied. It concerns a comparative review of various legal systems proposing codification and institutional changes by legislation. The nineteenth century was characterized by a general trend towards codification. In the field of law reform, jurisprudence should be an innovative study by concentrating attention on those parts of law that do not serve the purpose for which they were built.
Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) and Jurisprudence
The spectrum of jurisprudence does not restrict itself to understanding and applying those principles. It includes also the laws that are nevertheless not strictly enforceable, central in the country’s governance. Recent writings on policy perspectives have led to the conclusion that DPSP is identical to Raj Dharma, the basic principles of governance contemplated in the conventional Indian culture  . In Minerva Mills v. Union of India  , it was held that: in other words, the Indian Constitution is built on the cornerstone of equilibrium between Part III and Part IV. It should also be noted that the Indian principle of ‘rights’ often includes a ‘duty’ aspect. So, even if the DPSP are unenforceable, they are fundamental in the governance of the country and the State is bound by them.
The jurisprudence also includes the fields of gender and compensatory justice (LGBT)
The marginal and underprivileged individuals of the society including LGBTQ community are given opportunity to raise their issue in honorable courts by filling a Public Interest Litigation to support their cause.
Thus in this Article, a difference has been made between Jurisprudence and the law that we usually practice. Jurisprudence helps lawyers and magistrates discover the true sense of law . We came across different legal theories and how they were influencing society and the law. Jurisprudence is a major part of the law and cannot be isolated from it.
There are different types of jurisprudence that are used for the entire study of the law. There is no law school which is in itself complete. Different schools of law offer different methods of law analysis that exposes one another to give a better theory of law that can be implemented in different circumstances. Analytical school focused on the law as it is, and disregards the moral nature of the law. In the Classical School of Law, the interpretation of law as an instrument of social regulation was lacking.
There are different methods for law study, but their object is the same as understanding the fundamental concepts of law and legal study.
Since then, and now, the reach of jurisprudence has broadened. Now it includes the whole spectrum of rules, and not just good laws. The judiciary’s versatility in interpreting the law to support the State’s social welfare ends has also led to unprecedented expansion of the field of jurisprudence.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How has the concept of Jurisprudence evolved?
- Theories of different scholars on the concept of Jurisprudence.
- What are the different types of schools under which Jurisprudence is studied?
- Scope of Jurisprudence in Contemporary times.
- How Jurisprudence helps in interpretation of statues?
 AIR 1980 SC 1789
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Title : Active carbons as nanoporous materials for solving of environmental problems
However, up to now, the main carriers of catalytic additives have been mineral sorbents: silica gels, alumogels. This is obviously due to the fact that they consist of pure homogeneous components SiO2 and Al2O3, respectively. It is generally known that impurities, especially the ash elements, are catalytic poisons that reduce the effectiveness of the catalyst. Therefore, carbon sorbents with 5-15% by weight of ash elements in their composition are not used in the above mentioned technologies. However, in such an important field as a gas-mask technique, carbon sorbents (active carbons) are carriers of catalytic additives, providing effective protection of a person against any types of potent poisonous substances (PPS). In ESPE “JSC "Neorganika" there has been developed the technology of unique ashless spherical carbon carrier-catalysts by the method of liquid forming of furfural copolymers with subsequent gas-vapor activation, brand PAC. Active carbons PAC have 100% qualitative characteristics of the three main properties of carbon sorbents: strength - 100%, the proportion of sorbing pores in the pore space – 100%, purity - 100% (ash content is close to zero). A particularly outstanding feature of active PAC carbons is their uniquely high mechanical compressive strength of 740 ± 40 MPa, which is 3-7 times larger than that of such materials as granite, quartzite, electric coal, and is comparable to the value for cast iron - 400-1000 MPa. This allows the PAC to operate under severe conditions in moving and fluidized beds. Obviously, it is time to actively develop catalysts based on PAC sorbents for oil refining, petrochemicals, gas processing and various technologies of organic synthesis.
Victor M. Mukhin was born in 1946 in the town of Orsk, Russia. In 1970 he graduated the Technological Institute in Leningrad. Victor M. Mukhin was directed to work to the scientific-industrial organization "Neorganika" (Elektrostal, Moscow region) where he is working during 47 years, at present as the head of the laboratory of carbon sorbents. Victor M. Mukhin defended a Ph. D. thesis and a doctoral thesis at the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia (in 1979 and 1997 accordingly). Professor of Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia. Scientific interests: production, investigation and application of active carbons, technological and ecological carbon-adsorptive processes, environmental protection, production of ecologically clean food.
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