HISTORICAL SCHOOL OF JURISPRUDENCE

The historical school of jurisprudence places a greater emphasis on the social institutions in which the law evolves, and it focuses on the evolution of law from ancient communities’ fundamental legal structures. The primary goal of this school is to cover the general principles that govern the genesis and development of law, as well as the influences that have an impact on it. Historical jurists argued that all universal ideal principles were principles of action, and that ethical issues should be excluded from law. When revolutionary ideals failed to suit the requirements of the people, a new method of studying jurisprudence based on history emerged. Many jurists, including Vico, Hugo, and Montesque, ushered a new era in legal theory development. The French Revolution and subsequent upheavals, as well as the Darwinian theory of evolution, which altered the character of scientific research during that period, were two main causes responsible for the formation of historical school, according to English legal historian Holdsworth. The main jurists of historical school of jurisprudence were Montesquieu , Savigny and Sir Henry Maine.

Monstesquieu was the first jurist to use the historical method of analysis; he believed that discussing the nature of law was pointless because it is dependent on the social, political, and environmental conditions that exist in society. He believed that the law should evolve to meet the changing requirements of society. He didn’t develop any theory or philosophy of the law’s relationship with society. He stated that the law should respond to the demands of the time and place, and that it should adapt as time, location, and people’s needs change.

Savigny, known as the “Father of Historical School,” was the next juris. The law, according to Savigny, cannot be borrowed from elsewhere. And the people’s conscience is the primary source of legislation.

He believed that the state’s law increases with the strength of the state’s nationality, and that law dies or fades away when the state’s nationality weakens.
The law, according to Savignty’s Volksgesit, is the result of the people’s collective awareness or will. The concept of Volksgeist was created to serve as a caution against hasty legislation as well as to propose new abstract legal ideas. Unless they support the people’s will in general [1]

Sir Henry Maine was dubbed a “Social Darwinist” because he claimed that historical research has clarified the present through comparative studies. Some tribes followed a patriarchal system, in which the eldest female ruled the family, while others followed a matriarchal structure, in which the eldest female controlled the family. The lowest unit, according to Maine, was pater familiar.

With the fading of pater familias, rights and responsibilities began to be determined by contracts and talks between individuals, resulting in the formation of just contractual relationships between individuals. Sir Maine tempered his proposition by using hitherto, indicating that generalisation may not be possible in the future.
This trend resulted in the progressive dismantling of family dependency and the expansion of individual freedom within that harmony.

It was later observed and new difficulties arose as a result of advanced procedures, resulting in inequity, reversing the trend.

The Historical School has long held that law cannot be examined in isolation from its social context. It’s a movement that pits facts against fiction. While it is true that the Historical School focuses on the “evolution” of law, lawyers are quick to point out that “evolution” does not imply “progress.” Some jurists believe that the Historical School’s emergence as a juristic school is due to the fact that it provides the historical component of a certain legislation or legal idea as a tool for interpretation. If it fails to do so, it will no longer be considered a legal school.

References- [1] https://blog.ipleaders.in/historical-school-of-jurisprudence/

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