Jurisprudence is the study of law, if taken at its face value. The jurists have defined it variously. Some defined it as the philosophy of law and others have defined it as the wisdom underlying Justice.
The Holy Quran in chapters IV, verse 135 says ‘o ye who believe be Staunch in Justice’. In fact nature loves The Justice and we ought to be aware about the Philosophy of Justice. Abu Hanif, The of Jurist par excellence in Islamic world, defines Jurisprudence as the soul’s cognizance of its rights and obligations. A human being, conscious of his rights and obligations can be an epitome of good civil existence.
The western Scholars from ancient Greek till The present times have made breath taking Contribution in The understanding of Jurisprudence.
Diverse shades of legal thinking have evolved over the time. The logical outcome of this legal thinking has engendered- what is called as ‘schools of legal thoughts’. The natural law school, the positive school of law, The Historical School of law and the Sociological School of Law are some prominent manifestations of westerns legal though
The Natural law philosophy occupies an important place in the realm of politics, law, religion & ethics from the earliest times. It has played the role of harmonising, synthesizing and promoting peace and justice in different periods and protected public against injustice, tyranny and misrule. Blackstone (Great English jurist) celebrates the function of natural law in liberating people from politico-legal disorder observes:
“The natural law being co-istent with mankind and emanating from God himself, is superior to all other laws. It is binding over all the globe in all countries and at all the times & no man made law will be valid if it is contrary to the law of nature’.
The positive school of law essentially, deals with the analysis of man-made law or legislative enactments. The proponents of this school are concerned with the law as it exists or ‘law as it is’. This school aim at analysing or systematically arranging the existing law, inorder to do away with chaotic mix of laws. The present arrangement of law in different codes is the outcome of the work of this school. The positive school was, interalia, a reaction to the natural law philosophy. It advocated the supremacy of man-made law over natural law.
Another monastery of legal thinking was set up in late eighteenth century in Germany. The central question that this school projected was ‘how did law come to be’. As the positive school theorized that ‘command of the sovereign is the source of law’; the Historical school envisaged that the command of sovereign is not the source of law but the instinctive sense of right possessed by every race. To cap it all, this school believe that the law emanates from the will of the community. It says that law & nation are twin sisters. The law is born with the birth of the nation, it evolves with the growth of the nation & it meets it end with the extinction of nation. As it traces the evolutionary progress of law, it came to be called as Historical school of law. The Sociological school of law dashed into the legalistic lime light in the late nineteenth century. This school gained ground- swell traction in the United States of America. The central component of this school is the ‘Social utility of law’. The focal point of this thinking is that the law should be studied in relation to the society. It envisages that the law is an instrument of social change. The towering proponent of this school- Dean Roscoe Pound says: law is a means of social engineering. Simit balances or reconciles various conflicting interests in the society. The land Acquisition law illustrates it aptly: The state acquires private land for public purpose and pays adequate compensation the owner- thereby reconciling the conflicting interests or claims in the society.
In conclusion, the words of Roman philosopher Cicero deserve mention: “The foundations of justice (Jurisprudence) are that no one shall be harmed, and ment that the common weal be served.”
(Author is a lecturer at KCEF Law College Pulwama)