Custom and the Changing Society

Before the legal system came into existence there have been long established rules which have become obligatory over time. Such rules are known as customs. Custom is also known as the oldest source of law which was created by people according to their will and it is recognition by the people and continuity which makes it even relevant today when other sources such as judicial precedents and legislation are gaining importance.

Origin of custom
The beginning of custom is not certain. A few jurists have dedicated themselves to follow the beginning of custom. Some of them held that especially was gotten from legal sentences and not the other way around. Others termed customs as the oldest and unwritten code of rules. A portion of customs was taken in by Imitation from different people groups, and a large number of them came as acclimations to evolving circumstances. A custom actually remains however their value has since quite a while ago stopped to exist. They have complied with all the more unexpectedly in light of the fact that they develop gradually. However long traditions suddenly win, they are the most grounded ties in developing a social request.

Custom to be considered as a source of law needs to be antique. It is said that customs should be practiced since time immemorial. There is no fixed time period in Indian law that can be considered antique but it is the long usage that forms the basis. It should be in practice in continuity. A significant gap of time in its practice renders the practice insufficient to be termed as custom. Custom should not be in conflict with other customs prevailing in the society.


Contrast or irregularity in custom will add up to the various standards of lead for a given circumstance; it will arrange the overall assent. Customs should be reasonable.in order to remove the unreasonableness of the customs needs to be established. A custom should be in congruity with essential ethical quality, the overarching comprehension of equity, wellbeing, and public strategy. In the event that it isn’t sensible in its starting point or practice, it can’t be considered a
legitimate custom. It should be certain, there should be no unambiguity of its existence in the eyes of people. It is really necessary for a custom to be certain in order to qualify as a source of law. It is necessary for customs to adhere to public morality. For example, the saptapadi in Hindu marriage is considered one of the most important rites. It is the continuity, reasonability certainty and universal acceptance which turned it into a valid legal custom.

Types of custom
Custom without sanctions: These are the ones that are not obligatory by law for a person to follow but are followed due to public pressure.

The two important elements to be considered while establishing any custom are its practice and its acceptance by the states. The practice should be constant and uniform in order to consider it as custom. On becoming custom it is necessary for all the states to consider it binding on them until and unless the states are opposing the practice from day one of its consideration.

Customs are the oldest source of law. Change is the nature of society, in such a dynamic environment the customs which could adhere to societal norms and valid conditions slowly and gradually became part of the codified law and are in practice.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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