What is Jurisprudence?

It is difficult to give a universal and uniform definition of jurisprudence. Every jurist has his/her own notion of the subject matter and the proper limits of jurisprudence depend upon his/her ideology and the nature of society. Moreover, the growth and development of law in different countries has been under different social and political conditions The words used for law in different countries convey different meanings. The words of one language do not have synonyms in other languages conveying the same meaning. The word “jurisprudence” is not generally used in other languages in the English sense. In French, it refers to something like “case law”. The evolution of society is of a dynamic nature and hence the difficulty in accepting a definition by all. New problems and new issues demand new solutions and new interpretations under changed circumstances. However, scientific inventions have brought the people of the world closer to each other which helps the universalisation of ideas and thoughts and the development of a common terminology.

The study of jurisprudence started with the Romans. The Latin equivalent of “jurisprudence” is “jurisprudential” which means either “knowledge of law” or “skill in law”. Ulpian, a Roman Jurist, defines jurisprudence as “the knowledge of things divine and human, the science of the just and unjust”. Paulus, another Roman jurist, maintained that “the law is not to be deduced from the rule, but the rule from the law”. The definitions given by the Roman jurists are vague and inadequate but they put forth the idea of a legal science independent of the actual institutions of a particular society.

In England, the word jurisprudence was in use throughout the early formative period of the common law, but as meaning little more than the study of or skill in law. It was not until the time of Bentham and his disciple Austin in the early part of the 19th century that the word began to acquire a technical significance among English lawyers. Bentham distinguished between examination of the law as it is and as it ought to be (‘expositorial’ and ‘censorial’ jurisprudence). Austin occupied himself with ‘expository’ jurisprudence and his work consisted mainly of a formal analysis of the structure of English law. Analytical exposition of the type which Bentham pioneered and Austin developed, has dominated English legal thought up to the modern times. The word jurisprudence has come to mean in England almost exclusively an analysis of the formal structure of law and its concepts.

There has been a shift during the last one century and jurisprudence today is envisaged in an immeasurably broader and more sweeping sense than that in which Austin understood it. To quote William Warwick Buckland, a Professor at the Cambridge University, he says “The analysis of legal concepts is what jurisprudence meant for the student in the days of my youth. In fact it meant Austin. He was a religion; today he seems to be regarded rather as a disease.”

Prof. Julius Stone describes jurisprudence as “the lawyer’s extraversion. It is the lawyer’s examination of the precepts, ideals and techniques of the law in the light derived from present knowledge in disciplines other than the law”. Lord Radcliffe writes: “You will not mistake my meaning or suppose that I deprecate one of the great humane studies if I say that we cannot learn law by learning law. If it is to be anything more than just a technique, it is to be so much more than itself: a part of history, a part of economics and sociology, a part of ethics and philosophy of life.”

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.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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