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Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of the propriety of
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nature of law in its most general form and provide a deeper understanding of legal reasoning and analogy,
legal systems The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral codes taught by religious traditions. Different religio ...
, legal institutions, and the proper application and role of law in society. Modern jurisprudence began in the 18th century and was focused on the first principles of
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or ...
,
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
, and the
law of nations International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
. General jurisprudence can be divided into categories both by the type of question scholars seek to answer and by the theories of jurisprudence, or schools of thought, regarding how those questions are best answered. Contemporary
philosophy of law Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, an ...
, which deals with general jurisprudence, addresses problems internal to law and legal systems and problems of law as a social institution that relates to the larger political and social context in which it exists.Shiner, "Philosophy of Law", ''Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy'' This article addresses three distinct branches of thought in general jurisprudence. Ancient
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or ...
is the idea that there are rational objective limits to the power of legislative rulers. The foundations of law are accessible through reason, and it is from these laws of nature that human laws gain whatever force they have. Analytic jurisprudence (Clarificatory jurisprudence) rejects natural law's fusing of what law is and what it ought to be. It espouses the use of a neutral point of view and descriptive language when referring to aspects of legal systems. It encompasses such theories of jurisprudence as "legal positivism", which holds that there is no necessary connection between law and morality and that the force of law comes from basic social facts;Soper, "Legal Positivism", ''Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy'' and "legal realism", which argues that the real-world practice of law determines what law is, the law having the force that it does because of what legislators, lawyers, and judges do with it.
Normative jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of the propriety of law. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nature of law in its most general form and provide a deeper understanding of Reason#Logical reasoning methods and a ...
is concerned with "evaluative" theories of law. It deals with what the goal or purpose of law is, or what moral or political theories provide a foundation for the law. It not only addresses the question "What is law?", but also tries to determine what the proper function of law should be, or what sorts of acts should be subject to legal sanctions, and what sorts of punishment should be permitted.


Etymology

The English word is derived from the Latin, ''iurisprudentia''. ''Iuris'' is the
genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
form of ''ius'' meaning law, and ''prudentia'' meaning prudence (also: discretion, foresight, forethought, circumspection). It refers to the exercise of good judgment, common sense, and caution, especially in the conduct of practical matters. The word first appeared in written English in 1628, at a time when the word ''prudence'' meant knowledge of, or skill in, a matter. It may have entered English via the French ''jurisprudence'', which appeared earlier.


History

Ancient Indian jurisprudence is mentioned in various
Dharmaśāstra ''Dharmaśāstra'' ( sa, धर्मशास्त्र) is a genre of Sanskrit theological texts, and refers to the treatises (shastras, śāstras) of Hinduism on dharma. There are many Dharmashastras, variously estimated to be 18 to about ...
texts, starting with the Dharmasutra of Bhodhayana. In Ancient China, the
Daoists Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical tradition of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and de ...
,
Confucians , Shanxi Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a w ...
, and Legalists all had competing theories of jurisprudence. Jurisprudence in
Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
had its origins with the (''periti'')—experts in the '''' ''
mos maiorum The ''mos maiorum'' (; "ancestral custom" or "way of the ancestors," plural ''mores'', cf. English "mores"; ''maiorum'' is the Genitive case, genitive plural of "greater" or "elder") is the unwritten code from which the Ancient Rome, ancient Roma ...
'' (traditional law), a body of
oral law An oral law is a code of conduct A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy ...
s and customs. Praetors established a working body of laws by judging whether or not singular cases were capable of being prosecuted either by the edicta, the annual pronunciation of prosecutable offense, or in extraordinary situations, additions made to the edicta. An iudex would then prescribe a remedy according to the facts of the case. The sentences of the iudex were supposed to be simple interpretations of the traditional customs, but—apart from considering what traditional customs applied in each case—soon developed a more equitable interpretation, coherently adapting the law to newer social exigencies. The law was then adjusted with evolving ''institutiones'' (legal concepts), while remaining in the traditional mode. Praetors were replaced in the 3rd century BC by a laical body of ''prudentes''. Admission to this body was conditional upon proof of competence or experience. Under the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, schools of law were created, and practice of the law became more academic. From the early Roman Empire to the 3rd century, a relevant body of literature was produced by groups of scholars, including the Proculians and
SabiniansThe Sabinian school was one of the two important schools of Law in Rome during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. The Sabinians took their name from Masurius Sabinus but later were known as ''Cassians'' after Sabinus' student, Gaius Cassius Longinus (con ...
. The scientific nature of the studies was unprecedented in ancient times. After the 3rd century, ''juris prudentia'' became a more bureaucratic activity, with few notable authors. It was during the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
(5th century) that legal studies were once again undertaken in depth, and it is from this cultural movement that
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
's
Corpus Juris Civilis The ''Corpus Juris'' (or ''Iuris'') ''Civilis'' ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius I ...
was born.


Natural law

In its general sense, natural law theory may be compared to both state-of-nature law and general law understood on the basis of being analogous to the laws of physical science. Natural law is often contrasted to positive law which asserts law as the product of human activity and human volition. Another approach to natural-law jurisprudence generally asserts that human law must be in response to compelling reasons for action. There are two readings of the natural-law jurisprudential stance. *''The strong natural law thesis'' holds that if a human law fails to be in response to compelling reasons, then it is not properly a "law" at all. This is captured, imperfectly, in the famous maxim: '' lex iniusta non est lex'' (an unjust law is no law at all). *''The weak natural law thesis'' holds that if a human law fails to be in response to compelling reasons, then it can still be called a "law", but it must be recognised as a defective law. Notions of an objective moral order, external to human legal systems, underlie natural law. What is right or wrong can vary according to the interests one is focused on.
John Finnis John Mitchell Finnis, , (born 28 July 1940) is an Australian legal philosopher, jurist and scholar specializing in jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of the propriety of law Law is a system A s ...
, one of the most important of modern natural lawyers, has argued that the maxim "an unjust law is no law at all" is a poor guide to the classical
Thomist Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the church#Catholicism, Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas' Work ...
position. Strongly related to theories of natural law are classical theories of
justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, ...

justice
, beginning in the West with
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
's
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
.


Aristotle

Aristotle is often said to be the father of natural law. Like his philosophical forefathers
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens domi ...

Socrates
and Plato, Aristotle posited the existence of
natural justice In English law English law is the common law List of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English criminal law, criminal law and Civil law (common law), civil law, each branch having its own Courts o ...
or natural right (''dikaion physikon'', ''δικαίον φυσικόν'', Latin ''
ius naturale''Ius naturale'' is Latin for natural right, the laws common to all beings. Roman jurists wondered why the ''ius gentium'' (the laws which applied to foreigners and citizens alike) was in general accepted by all people living in the Empire. Their con ...
''). His association with natural law is largely due to how he was interpreted by
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Dominican may refer to: * Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, ...

Thomas Aquinas
. This was based on Aquinas' conflation of natural law and natural right, the latter of which Aristotle posits in Book V of the ''
Nicomachean Ethics The ''Nicomachean Ethics'' (; grc, Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, ) is the name normally given to 's best-known work on . The work, which plays a role in defining , consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be ...
'' (Book IV of the ''
Eudemian Ethics The ''Eudemian Ethics'' ( el, Ἠθικὰ Εὐδήμεια; la, Ethica Eudemia or ''De moribus ad Eudemum'') is a work of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...
''). Aquinas's influence was such as to affect a number of early translations of these passages, though more recent translations render them more literally. Aristotle's theory of justice is bound up in his idea of the golden mean. Indeed, his treatment of what he calls "political justice" derives from his discussion of "the just" as a moral virtue derived as the mean between opposing vices, just like every other virtue he describes. His longest discussion of his theory of justice occurs in ''Nicomachean Ethics'' and begins by asking what sort of mean a just act is. He argues that the term "justice" actually refers to two different but related ideas: general justice and particular justice.''Nicomachean Ethics'', Bk. V, ch. 3 When a person's actions toward others are completely virtuous in all matters, Aristotle calls them "just" in the sense of "general justice"; as such, this idea of justice is more or less coextensive with virtue. "Particular" or "partial justice", by contrast, is the part of "general justice" or the individual virtue that is concerned with treating others equitably. Aristotle moves from this unqualified discussion of justice to a qualified view of political justice, by which he means something close to the subject of modern jurisprudence. Of political justice, Aristotle argues that it is partly derived from nature and partly a matter of convention. This can be taken as a statement that is similar to the views of modern natural law theorists. But it must also be remembered that Aristotle is describing a view of morality, not a system of law, and therefore his remarks as to nature are about the grounding of the morality enacted as law, not the laws themselves. The best evidence of Aristotle's having thought there was a natural law comes from the ''
Rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...
'', where Aristotle notes that, aside from the "particular" laws that each people has set up for itself, there is a "common" law that is according to nature. The context of this remark, however, suggests only that Aristotle thought that it could be rhetorically advantageous to appeal to such a law, especially when the "particular" law of one's own city was adverse to the case being made, not that there actually was such a law. Aristotle, moreover, considered certain candidates for a universally valid, natural law to be wrong. Aristotle's theoretical paternity of the natural law tradition is consequently disputed.


Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas is the foremost classical proponent of
natural theology Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy, for a long time the primary philosophical approach of the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
. The work for which he is best known is the ''
Summa Theologiae The ''Summa Theologiae'' or ''Summa Theologica'' (), often referred to simply as the ''Summa'', is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian ...
''. One of the thirty-five
Doctors of the Church Doctor or The Doctor may refer to: Personal titles * Doctor (title), the holder of an accredited academic degree * A medical practitioner, including: ** Physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Co ...
, he is considered by many Catholics to be the Church's greatest theologian. Consequently, many institutions of learning have been named after him. Aquinas distinguished four kinds of law: eternal, natural, divine, and human: * Eternal law refers to divine reason, known only to God. It is God's plan for the universe. Man needs this plan, for without it he would totally lack direction. *
Natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or ...
is the "participation" in the eternal law by rational human creatures, and is discovered by reason *
Divine law Divine law is any body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, i ...
is revealed in the scriptures and is God's positive law for mankind * Human law is supported by reason and enacted for the common good. Natural law is based on "first principles":
''... this is the first precept of the law, that good is to be done and promoted, and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the natural law are based on this ...''
The desires to live and to procreate are counted by Aquinas among those basic (natural) human values on which all other human values are based.


School of Salamanca

Francisco de Vitoria Francisco de Vitoria ( – 12 August 1546; also known as Francisco de Victoria) was a Spanish Roman Catholic philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , tr ...

Francisco de Vitoria
was perhaps the first to develop a theory of ''
ius gentium The '' ius gentium'' or ''jus gentium'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through ...
'' (the rights of peoples), and thus is an important figure in the transition to modernity. He extrapolated his ideas of legitimate sovereign power to international affairs, concluding that such affairs ought to be determined by forms respecting of the rights of all and that the common good of the world should take precedence before the good of any single state. This meant that relations between states ought to pass from being justified by force to being justified by law and justice. Some scholars have upset the standard account of the origins of International law, which emphasises the seminal text ''De iure belli ac pacis'' by
Hugo Grotius Hugo Grotius (; 10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), also known as Huig de Groot () and in Dutch as Hugo de Groot (), was a Dutch humanist, diplomat, lawyer, theologian, jurist, poet and playwright. A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was bor ...

Hugo Grotius
, and argued for Vitoria and, later, Suárez's importance as forerunners and, potentially, founders of the field. Others, such as Koskenniemi, have argued that none of these humanist and scholastic thinkers can be understood to have founded international law in the modern sense, instead placing its origins in the post-1870 period.
Francisco Suárez Francisco Suárez (5 January 1548 – 25 September 1617) was a Spain, Spanish Jesuit Catholic priest, priest, philosopher and theology, theologian, one of the leading figures of the School of Salamanca movement, and generally regarded among the g ...

Francisco Suárez
, regarded as among the greatest scholastics after Aquinas, subdivided the concept of ''ius gentium''. Working with already well-formed categories, he carefully distinguished ''ius inter gentes'' from ''ius intra gentes''. ''Ius inter gentes'' (which corresponds to modern international law) was something common to the majority of countries, although, being positive law, not natural law, it was not necessarily universal. On the other hand, ''ius intra gentes'', or civil law, is specific to each nation.


Lon Fuller

Writing after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Lon L. Fuller defended a secular and procedural form of natural law. He emphasised that the (natural) law must meet certain formal requirements (such as being impartial and publicly knowable). To the extent that an institutional system of social control falls short of these requirements, Fuller argued, we are less inclined to recognise it as a system of law, or to give it our respect. Thus, the law must have a morality that goes beyond the societal rules under which laws are made.


John Finnis

Sophisticated positivist and natural law theories sometimes resemble each other and may have certain points in common. Identifying a particular theorist as a positivist or a natural law theorist sometimes involves matters of emphasis and degree, and the particular influences on the theorist's work. The natural law theorists of the distant past, such as Aquinas and John Locke made no distinction between analytic and normative jurisprudence, while modern natural law theorists, such as John Finnis, who claim to be positivists, still argue that law is moral by nature. In his book '' Natural Law and Natural Rights'' (1980, 2011), John Finnis provides a restatement of natural law doctrine.


Analytic jurisprudence

Analytic, or "clarificatory", jurisprudence means taking a neutral point of view and using descriptive language when referring to various aspects of legal systems. This was a philosophical development that rejected natural law's fusing of what law is and what it ought to be.See H L A Hart, 'Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals' (1958) 71 ''Harv. L. Rev.'' 593
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
argued, in ''
A Treatise of Human Nature '' A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion'' (1739–40) is a book by Scottish philosopher David Hume David Hume (; born Davi ...
'', that people invariably slip from describing what the world ''is'' to asserting that we therefore ''ought'' to follow a particular course of action. But as a matter of pure logic, one cannot conclude that we ''ought'' to do something merely because something ''is'' the case. So analysing and clarifying the way the world ''is'' must be treated as a strictly separate question from normative and evaluative questions of what ''ought'' to be done. The most important questions of analytic jurisprudence are: "What are laws?"; "What is ''the'' law?"; "What is the relationship between law and power/sociology?"; and "What is the relationship between law and morality?" Legal positivism is the dominant theory, although there is a growing number of critics who offer their own interpretations.


Historical school

Historical jurisprudence came to prominence during the debate on the proposed
codification Codification may refer to: *Codification (law), the process of preparing and enacting a legal code *Codification (linguistics), the process of selecting, developing and prescribing a model for standard language usage *Accounting Standards Codificati ...
of
German law The law of Germany (german: das Recht Deutschlands), that being the modern German legal system (german: Deutsches Rechtssystem), is a system of civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.G ...
. In his book ''On the Vocation of Our Age for Legislation and Jurisprudence'',
Friedrich Carl von Savigny Friedrich Carl von Savigny (21 February 1779 – 25 October 1861) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily ...

Friedrich Carl von Savigny
argued that
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
did not have a legal language that would support codification because the traditions, customs, and beliefs of the German people did not include a belief in a code. Historicists believe that law originates with society.


Sociological jurisprudence

An effort to systematically inform jurisprudence from sociological insights developed from the beginning of the twentieth century, as sociology began to establish itself as a distinct
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
, especially in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and in
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical region ...

continental Europe
. In Germany,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
and
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
, the work of the "free law" theorists (e.g. Ernst Fuchs, Hermann Kantorowicz,
Eugen Ehrlich Eugen Ehrlich (14 September 1862 – 2 May 1922) was an Austria-Hungary, Austrian law (academic), legal scholar and sociologist of law. He is widely regarded as one of the primary founders of the modern field of sociology of law. Biography Ehrlich ...
and Francois Geny) encouraged the use of sociological insights in the development of legal and juristic theory. The most internationally influential advocacy for a "sociological jurisprudence" occurred in the United States, where, throughout the first half of the twentieth century,
Roscoe Pound Nathan Roscoe Pound (October 27, 1870 – June 30, 1964) was an American legal scholar and educator. He served as Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law The University of Nebraska College of Law is one of the professional graduate schoo ...
, for many years the Dean of
Harvard Law School Harvard Law School (HLS) is the of in . Founded in 1817, it is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the country. Each class in the three-year program has approximately 560 st ...
, used this term to characterise his
legal philosophy Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy that examines the nature of law and law's relationship to other systems of norms, especially ethics and political philosophy. It asks questions like "What is law?", "What are the criteria for legal Validi ...
. In the United States, many later writers followed Pound's lead or developed distinctive approaches to sociological jurisprudence. In Australia,
Julius Stone Julius Stone (7 July 1907 – 1985) was Challis Professor of Jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nature of law in its most general form and provide a ...
strongly defended and developed Pound's ideas. In the 1930s, a significant split between the sociological jurists and the American legal realists emerged. In the second half of the twentieth century, sociological jurisprudence as a distinct movement declined as jurisprudence came more strongly under the influence of analytical legal philosophy; but with increasing criticism of dominant orientations of legal philosophy in English-speaking countries in the present century, it has attracted renewed interest. Increasingly, its contemporary focus is on providing theoretical resources for jurists to aid their understanding of new types of regulation (for example, the diverse kinds of developing transnational law) and the increasingly important interrelations of law and culture, especially in multicultural Western societies.


Legal positivism

Legal positivism is the view that the content of law is dependent on social facts and that a legal system's existence is not constrained by morality. Within legal positivism, theorists agree that law's content is a product of social facts, but theorists disagree whether law's validity can be explained by incorporating moral values. Legal positivists who argue against the incorporation of moral values to explain law's validity are labeled exclusive (or hard) legal positivists. Joseph Raz's legal positivism is an example of exclusive legal positivism. Legal positivists who argue that law's validity can be explained by incorporating moral values are labeled inclusive (or soft) legal positivists. The legal positivist theories of H. L. A. Hart and
Jules Coleman Jules Leslie Coleman (born 1947) is a scholar of law and jurisprudence. He was the Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School until 2012. Now retired, he most recently served as the Senior Vice ...
are examples of inclusive legal positivism.


Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes was a
social contract In moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
arian and believed that the law had peoples' tacit consent. He believed that society was formed from a
state of nature The state of nature, in moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', me ...
to protect people from the state of war that would exist otherwise. In ''Leviathan'', Hobbes argues that without an ordered society life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." It is commonly said that Hobbes's views on human nature were influenced by his times. The
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governance and issues of re ...
and the Cromwellian dictatorship had taken place; and, in reacting to that, Hobbes felt that absolute authority vested in a monarch, whose subjects obeyed the law, was the basis of a civilized society.


Bentham and Austin

John Austin and Jeremy Bentham were early legal positivists who sought to provide a descriptive account of law that describes the law as it is. Austin explained the descriptive focus for legal positivism by saying, "The existence of law is one thing; its merit and demerit another. Whether it be or be not is one enquiry; whether it be or be not conformable to an assumed standard, is a different enquiry." For Austin and Bentham, a society is governed by a sovereign who has
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
authority. Through the sovereign's authority come laws, which for Austin and Bentham are commands backed by sanctions for non-compliance. Along with Hume, Bentham was an early and staunch supporter of the utilitarian concept, and was an avid prison reformer, advocate for
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...

democracy
, and firm
atheist Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "bel ...

atheist
. Bentham's views about law and jurisprudence were popularized by his student
John AustinJohn Austin may refer to: Military *John Austin (soldier) (1801–1833), active in early settlement of Mexican Texas *John Arnold Austin (1905–1941), warrant officer in the United States Navy *John Beech Austin (1917–2012), British aviator in ...
. Austin was the first chair of law at the new
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a p ...
, from 1829. Austin's
utilitarian Utilitarianism is a family of normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically va ...
answer to "what is law?" was that law is "commands, backed by threat of sanctions, from a sovereign, to whom people have a habit of obedience". H. L. A. Hart criticized Austin and Bentham's early legal positivism because the command theory failed to account for individual's compliance with the law.


Hans Kelsen

Hans Kelsen is considered one of the prominent jurists of the 20th century and has been highly influential in Europe and Latin America, although less so in common-law countries. His Pure Theory of Law describes law as "binding norms", while at the same time refusing to evaluate those norms. That is, "legal science" is to be separated from "legal politics". Central to the Pure Theory of Law is the notion of a "basic norm" ('' Grundnorm'')'—a hypothetical norm, presupposed by the jurist, from which all "lower" norms in the hierarchy of a
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and infl ...
, beginning with
constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a , namely, the , the or , and the ; as well as the basic rights of citizens and, in federal countries and , the relationship between ...
, are understood to derive their authority or the extent to which they are binding. Kelsen contends that the extent to which legal norms are binding, their specifically "legal" character, can be understood without tracing it ultimately to some suprahuman source such as God, personified Nature or—of great importance in his time—a personified State or Nation.


H. L. A. Hart

In the English-speaking world, the most influential legal positivist of the twentieth century was H. L. A. Hart, professor of jurisprudence at
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...

Oxford University
. Hart argued that the law should be understood as a system of social rules. In ''
The Concept of Law ''The Concept of Law'' is a 1961 book by the legal philosopher HLA Hart and his most famous work.''The'' ''Concept of Law'' presents Hart's theory of legal positivism Legal positivism is a school of thought of analytical jurisprudence develo ...
'', Hart rejected Kelsen's views that sanctions were essential to law and that a normative social phenomenon, like law, cannot be grounded in non-normative social facts. Hart claimed that law is the union primary rules and secondary rules. Primary rules require individuals to act or not act in certain ways and create duties for the governed to obey. Secondary rules are rules that confer authority to create new primary rules or modify existing ones. Secondary rules are divided into rules of adjudication (how to resolve legal disputes), rules of change (how laws are amended), and the rule of recognition (how laws are identified as valid). The validity of a legal system comes from the "rule of recognition", which is a customary practice of officials (especially barristers and judges) who identify certain acts and decisions as sources of law. In 1981, Neil MacCormick wrote a pivotal book on Hart (second edition published in 2008), which further refined and offered some important criticisms that led MacCormick to develop his own theory (the best example of which is his ''Institutions of Law'', 2007). Other important critiques include those of
Ronald Dworkin Ronald Myles Dworkin (; December 11, 1931 – February 14, 2013) was an American philosopher, jurist, and scholar of United States constitutional law. At the time of his death, he was Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York ...
, John Finnis, and
Joseph Raz Joseph Raz (; he, יוסף רז; born 21 March 1939) is an Israeli legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A sys ...
. In recent years, debates on the nature of law have become increasingly fine-grained. One important debate is within legal positivism. One school is sometimes called "exclusive legal positivism" and is associated with the view that the legal validity of a norm can never depend on its moral correctness. A second school is labeled "inclusive legal positivism", a major proponent of which is Wil Waluchow, and is associated with the view that moral considerations , but do not necessarily, determine the legal validity of a norm.


Joseph Raz

Joseph Raz's theory of legal positivism argues against the incorporation of moral values to explain law's validity. In Raz's 1979 book ''The Authority of Law'', he criticised what he called the "weak social thesis" to explain law. He formulates the weak social thesis as "(a) Sometimes the identification of some laws turn on moral arguments, but also with, (b) In all legal systems the identification of some law turns on moral argument." Raz argues that law's authority is identifiable purely through social sources, without reference to moral reasoning. This view he calls "the sources thesis". Raz suggests that any categorisation of rules beyond their role as authority is better left to sociology than to jurisprudence. Some philosophers used to contend that positivism was the theory that held that there was "no necessary connection" between law and morality; but influential contemporary positivists—including Joseph Raz, John Gardner, and
Leslie Green Leslie William Green (6 February 1875 – 31 August 1908) was an English architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection wit ...
—reject that view. As Raz points out, it is a necessary truth that there are vices that a legal system cannot possibly have (for example, it cannot commit rape or murder).


Legal realism

Legal realism is the view that a theory of law should be descriptive and account for the reasons why judges decide cases as they do. Legal realism had some affinities with the sociology of law and sociological jurisprudence. The essential tenet of legal realism is that all law is made by humans and thus should account for reasons besides legal rules that led to a legal decision. There are two separate schools of legal realism: American legal realism and Scandinavian legal realism. American legal realism grew out of the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes. At the start of Holmes's ''The Common Law'', he claims that " e life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience". This view was a reaction to
legal formalism Legal formalism is both a descriptive theory and a normative theory of how judges should decide cases. In its descriptive sense, formalists believe that judges reach their decisions by applying uncontroversial principles to the facts. Although th ...
that was popular the time due to the Christopher Columbus Langdell. Holmes's writings on jurisprudence also laid the foundations for the predictive theory of law. In his article "The Path of the Law", Holmes argues that "the object of egalstudy...is prediction, the prediction of the incidence of the public force through the instrumentality of the courts." For the American legal realists of the early twentieth century, legal realism sought to describe the way judges decide cases. For legal realists such as
Jerome Frank Jerome New Frank (September 10, 1889 – January 13, 1957) was an American legal philosopher and author who played a leading role in the legal realism movement. He was Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission The U.S. Securities and ...

Jerome Frank
, judges start with the facts before them and then move to legal principles. Before legal realism, theories of jurisprudence turned this method around where judges were thought to begin with legal principles and then look to facts. It has become common today to identify Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., as the main precursor of American Legal Realism (other influences include
Roscoe Pound Nathan Roscoe Pound (October 27, 1870 – June 30, 1964) was an American legal scholar and educator. He served as Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law The University of Nebraska College of Law is one of the professional graduate schoo ...
,
Karl Llewellyn Karl Nickerson Llewellyn (May 22, 1893 – February 13, 1962) was a prominent American jurisprudential scholar associated with the school of legal realism Legal realism is a naturalism (philosophy), naturalistic approach to law. It is the view t ...
, and Justice
Benjamin Cardozo Benjamin () was the last-born of Jacob's thirteen children (12 sons and one daughter), and the second and last son of Rachel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition. He was the progenitor of the Israelites, Israelite Tribe of Benjamin. In the ...

Benjamin Cardozo
). Karl Llewellyn, another founder of the U.S. legal realism movement, similarly believed that the law is little more than putty in the hands of judges who are able to shape the outcome of cases based on their personal values or policy choices. The Scandinavian school of legal realism argued that law can be explained through the empirical methods used by social scientists. Prominent Scandinavian legal realists are Alf Ross,
Axel HägerströmImage:Axel hagerstrom.jpg, Axel Hägerström Axel Anders Theodor Hägerström (6 September 1868, Vireda – 7 July 1939, Uppsala) was a Sweden, Swedish philosopher. Born in Vireda, Jönköping County, Sweden, he was the son of a Church of Sweden pa ...
, and Karl Olivecrona. Scandinavian legal realists also took a naturalist approach to law. Despite its decline in popularity, legal realism continues to influence a wide spectrum of jurisprudential schools today, including
critical legal studies Critical legal studies (CLS) is a school of critical theory that first emerged as a movement in the United States during the 1970s.Alan Hunt, "The Theory of Critical Legal Studies," Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1986): 1-45, esp ...
,
feminist legal theory Feminist legal theory, also known as feminist jurisprudence, is based on the belief that the law has been fundamental in women's historical subordination. Feminist jurisprudence the philosophy of law is based on the political, economic, and socia ...
,
critical race theory Critical race theory (CRT) is an academic movement made up of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race, and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches ...
,
sociology of law The sociology of law (or legal sociology) is often described as a sub-discipline of sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and th ...
, and
law and economics Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, ...
. Kristoffel Grechenig & Martin Gelter, The Transatlantic Divergence in Legal Thought: American Law and Economics vs. German Doctrinalism
''Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 2008, vol. 31, pp. 295–360''.
/ref>


Critical legal studies

Critical legal studies Critical legal studies (CLS) is a school of critical theory that first emerged as a movement in the United States during the 1970s.Alan Hunt, "The Theory of Critical Legal Studies," Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1986): 1-45, esp ...
are a new theory of jurisprudence that has developed since the 1970s. The theory can generally be traced to American legal realism and is considered "the first movement in legal theory and legal scholarship in the United States to have espoused a committed Left political stance and perspective".Alan Hunt, "The Theory of Critical Legal Studies," Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1986): 1-45, esp. 1, 5. Se

DOI, 10.1093/ojls/6.1.1.
It holds that the law is largely contradictory, and can be best analyzed as an expression of the policy goals of a dominant social group.


Critical rationalism

Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
originated the theory of
critical rationalism Critical rationalism is an epistemological Epistemology (; ) is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, kn ...
. According to
Reinhold Zippelius Reinhold Zippelius (born 19 May 1928) is a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal qualification ...
many advances in law and jurisprudence take place by operations of critical rationalism. He writes, "daß die Suche nach dem Begriff des Rechts, nach seinen Bezügen zur Wirklichkeit und nach der Gerechtigkeit experimentierend voranschreitet, indem wir Problemlösungen versuchsweise entwerfen, überprüfen und verbessern" (that we empirically search for solutions to problems, which harmonise fairly with reality, by projecting, testing and improving the solutions).


Legal interpretivism

American legal philosopher
Ronald Dworkin Ronald Myles Dworkin (; December 11, 1931 – February 14, 2013) was an American philosopher, jurist, and scholar of United States constitutional law. At the time of his death, he was Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York ...
's legal theory attacks legal positivists that separate law's content from morality. In his book ''
Law's Empire ''Law's Empire'' is a 1986 text in legal philosophy by Ronald Dworkin, in which the author continues his criticism of the philosophy of legal positivism as promoted by H.L.A. Hart during the middle to late 20th century. The book notably introdu ...
'', Dworkin argued that law is an "interpretive" concept that requires barristers to find the best-fitting and most just solution to a legal dispute, given their constitutional traditions. According to him, law is not entirely based on social facts, but includes the best moral justification for the institutional facts and practices that form a society's legal tradition. It follows from Dworkin's view that one cannot know whether a society has a legal system in force, or what any of its laws are, until one knows some truths about the moral justifications of the social and political practices of that society. It is consistent with Dworkin's view—in contrast with the views of legal positivists or legal realists—that in a society may know what its laws are, because no-one may know the best moral justification for its practices. Interpretation, according to Dworkin's "integrity theory of law", has two dimensions. To count as an interpretation, the reading of a text must meet the criterion of "fit". Of those interpretations that fit, however, Dworkin maintains that the correct interpretation is the one that portrays the practices of the community in their best light, or makes them "the best that they can be". But many writers have doubted whether there a single best moral justification for the complex practices of any given community, and others have doubted whether, even if there is, it should be counted as part of the law of that community.


Therapeutic jurisprudence

Consequences of the operation of legal rules or legal procedures—or of the behavior of legal actors (such as lawyers and judges)—may be either beneficial (therapeutic) or harmful (anti-therapeutic) to people.
Therapeutic jurisprudence Therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) studies law as a social force (or agent) which inevitably gives rise to unintended consequences, which may be either beneficial (therapeutic) or harmful (anti-therapeutic). These consequences flow from the operation ...
("TJ") studies law as a social force (or agent) and uses
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
methods and data to study the extent to which a legal rule or practice affects the psychological well-being of the people it impacts.


Normative jurisprudence

In addition to the question, "What is law?", legal philosophy is also concerned with normative, or "evaluative" theories of law. What is the goal or purpose of law? What moral or political theories provide a foundation for the law? What is the proper function of law? What sorts of acts should be subject to
punishment Punishment, commonly, is the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual, meted out by an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of soci ...
, and what sorts of punishment should be permitted? What is justice? What rights do we have? Is there a duty to obey the law? What value has the rule of law? Some of the different schools and leading thinkers are discussed below.


Virtue jurisprudence

Aretaic moral theories, such as contemporary
virtue ethics Virtue ethics (also aretaic ethics, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...
, emphasize the role of character in morality. Virtue jurisprudence is the view that the laws should promote the development of virtuous character in citizens. Historically, this approach has been mainly associated with Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas. Contemporary virtue jurisprudence is inspired by philosophical work on virtue ethics.


Deontology

Deontology is the "theory of duty or moral obligation". The philosopher
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Immanuel Kant
formulated one influential deontological theory of law. He argued that any rule we follow must be able to be universally applied, i.e. we must be willing for everyone to follow that rule. A contemporary deontological approach can be found in the work of the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin.


Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is the view that the laws should be crafted so as to produce the best consequences for the greatest number of people. Historically, utilitarian thinking about law has been associated with the philosopher Jeremy Bentham. John Stuart Mill was a pupil of Bentham's and was the torch bearer for
utilitarian Utilitarianism is a family of normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically va ...
philosophy throughout the late nineteenth century.see
Utilitarianism
at Metalibri Digital Library
In contemporary legal theory, the utilitarian approach is frequently championed by scholars who work in the law and economics tradition.


John Rawls

John Rawls was an American philosopher; a
professor Professor (commonly abbreviated as Prof.) is an academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, secondary or tertiary education, tertiary higher education, highe ...

professor
of
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political philosophy
at
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...

Harvard University
; and author of ''
A Theory of Justice ''A Theory of Justice'' is a 1971 work of political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships ...
'' (1971), ''
Political Liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
'', '' Justice as Fairness: A Restatement'', and ''
The Law of Peoples ''The Law of Peoples'' is American philosopher John Rawls John Bordley Rawls (; February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. Rawls received both the Schock Prize for Log ...
''. He is widely considered one of the most important English-language political philosophers of the 20th century. His theory of justice uses a method called "original position" to ask us which principles of justice we would choose to regulate the basic institutions of our society if we were behind a "veil of ignorance". Imagine we do not know who we are—our race, sex, wealth, status, class, or any distinguishing feature—so that we would not be biased in our own favour. Rawls argued from this "original position" that we would choose exactly the same political liberties for everyone, like freedom of speech, the right to vote, and so on. Also, we would choose a system where there is only inequality because that produces incentives enough for the economic well-being of all society, especially the poorest. This is Rawls's famous "difference principle". Justice is fairness, in the sense that the fairness of the original position of choice guarantees the fairness of the principles chosen in that position. There are many other normative approaches to the
philosophy of law Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, an ...
, including critical legal studies and libertarian theories of law.


See also

*
Analytical jurisprudence Analytical jurisprudence is a philosophical approach to law that draws on the resources of modern analytical philosophy to try to understand its nature. Since the boundaries of analytical philosophy are somewhat vague, it is difficult to say how f ...
* Artificial intelligence and law *
Brocard (law) A brocard is a legal maxim in Latin that is, in a strict sense, derived from traditional legal authorities, even from ancient Rome. The word is a variant of the Latinized name of Burchard of Worms (died AD 1025), Bishop of Worms, Germany, who compil ...
* Cautelary jurisprudence *
Comparative law Comparative law is the study of differences and similarities between the law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, ...
*
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

Constitution
*
Constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a , namely, the , the or , and the ; as well as the basic rights of citizens and, in federal countries and , the relationship between ...
*
Constitutionalism Constitutionalism is "a compound of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law". Political organizations are constitutional ...

Constitutionalism
*
Constitutional economics A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
*
Critical legal studies Critical legal studies (CLS) is a school of critical theory that first emerged as a movement in the United States during the 1970s.Alan Hunt, "The Theory of Critical Legal Studies," Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1986): 1-45, esp ...
*
Critical race theory Critical race theory (CRT) is an academic movement made up of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race, and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches ...
*
Critical rationalism Critical rationalism is an epistemological Epistemology (; ) is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, kn ...
*
Defeasible reasoning In philosophical logicPhilosophical logic refers to those areas of philosophy in which recognized methods of logic have Classical logic, traditionally been used to solve or advance the discussion of philosophical problems. Among these, Sybil Wolfra ...
*
Divine law Divine law is any body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, i ...
* Feminist jurisprudence *
Feminist legal theory Feminist legal theory, also known as feminist jurisprudence, is based on the belief that the law has been fundamental in women's historical subordination. Feminist jurisprudence the philosophy of law is based on the political, economic, and socia ...
*
Fiqh ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence. Muhammad-> Sahabah, Companions-> Tabi‘un, Followers-> Fiqh. The commands and prohibitions chosen by God were revealed through the agency of the Prophet in both the Quran and the Sunnah (words, dee ...
*
International legal theoryInternational legal theory comprises a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used to explain and analyse the content, formation and effectiveness of public international law International law, also known as public international law a ...
*
Judicial activismJudicial activism is a judicial philosophy holding that the courts can and should go beyond the applicable law to consider broader societal implications of its decisions. It is sometimes used as an antonym of judicial restraint Judicial restraint i ...
*
Justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, ...

Justice
*
Law and economics Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, ...
*
Law and literature The law and literature movement focuses on the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge f ...
*
Legal formalism Legal formalism is both a descriptive theory and a normative theory of how judges should decide cases. In its descriptive sense, formalists believe that judges reach their decisions by applying uncontroversial principles to the facts. Although th ...
*
Legal history Law is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as oppose ...
* Legalism *
Legal pluralism Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, ...
*
Legal positivism Legal positivism is a school of thought of analytical jurisprudence Analytical jurisprudence is a philosophical approach to law that draws on the resources of modern analytical philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosop ...
*
Legal realism Legal realism is a naturalism (philosophy), naturalistic approach to law. It is the view that jurisprudence should emulate the methods of natural science, i.e., rely on empirical evidence. Hypotheses must be tested against observations of the wor ...
*
Legal science Legal science is one of the main components in the civil law tradition (after Roman law, canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, ...
* Libertarian theories of law *
Living Constitution The Living Constitution, or loose constructionism, is the claim that the United States Constitution hold a dynamic meaning that evolves and adapts to new circumstances even if the document is not formally amended. The Constitution is said to d ...
*
Originalism In the context of United States law, originalism is a concept regarding the constitutional interpretation, interpretation of the United States Constitution, Constitution that asserts that all statements in the constitution must be interprete ...
*
Natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or ...
*
New legal realismNew legal realism (NLR) is an emerging school of thought in American legal philosophy. Although it draws on the older legal realism from the first half of the twentieth century, new legal realism differs in important ways. Notably, it moves beyond ...
* Political jurisprudence * Postmodernist jurisprudence *
Publius Juventius Celsus Publius Juventius Celsus Titus Aufidius Hoenius Severianus (AD 67– AD 130) — the son of a little-known jurist of the same name, hence also Celsus filius — was, together with Julian, the most influential ancient Roman In historiography ...
*
Philosophy of law Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, an ...
*
Rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...

Rule of law
*
Rule according to higher law The rule according to a higher law is a statement which expresses that no law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain universal principles (written or unwritten) of fairness, morality, and justice. Thus, ''the rule accor ...
* Sociological jurisprudence *
Sociology of law The sociology of law (or legal sociology) is often described as a sub-discipline of sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and th ...
* Strict interpretation * Virtue jurisprudence


Notes


References


''Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 2008'', vol. 31, pp. 295–36


Further reading

* * Cotterrell, R. (1995). ''Law's Community: Legal Theory in Sociological Perspective''. Oxford:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and the second oldest after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is g ...

Oxford University Press
. * Cotterrell, R. (2003). ''The Politics of Jurisprudence: A Critical Introduction to Legal Philosophy'', 2nd ed. Oxford:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and the second oldest after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is g ...

Oxford University Press
. * Cotterrell, R. (2018). ''Sociological Jurisprudence: Juristic Thought and Social Inquiry''. New York/London:
Routledge Routledge () is a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a so ...
. * Freeman, M. D. A. (2014). ''Lloyd's Introduction to Jurisprudence''. 9th ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell. * * Hartzler, H. Richard (1976). ''Justice, Legal Systems, and Social Structure''. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press. * * Hutchinson, Allan C., ed. (1989). ''
Critical Legal Studies Critical legal studies (CLS) is a school of critical theory that first emerged as a movement in the United States during the 1970s.Alan Hunt, "The Theory of Critical Legal Studies," Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1986): 1-45, esp ...
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Oxford University Press
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C.H. Beck Verlag C.H.BECK oHG, doing business as Publishers C.H. Beck (german: Verlag C. H. Beck), is a German publisher with its headquarters in Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. ...
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External links

* John Witte Jr.: A Brief Biography of Dooyeweerd, based on Hendrik van Eikema Hommes, Inleiding tot de Wijsbegeerte van Herman Dooyeweerd (
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality on the western coast of the Netherlands on the North Sea. It is the administrative and royal capital ...

The Hague
, 1982; pp. 1–4, 132)
Redeemer University College

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http://www.lircocervo.it Lircocervo.it] "L'Ircocervo. Rivista elettronica italiana di metodologia giuridica, teoria generale del diritto e dottrina dello stato" *
The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions
', by
Peter Suber Peter Dain Suber (born November 8, 1951) is a philosopher specializing in the philosophy of law and open access to knowledge. He is a Senior Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly ...

Peter Suber
(Routledge, 1998.) Lon Fuller's classic of jurisprudence brought up to date 50 years later.
The Roman Law Library, incl. ''Responsa prudentium''
by Professor Yves Lassard and Alexandr Koptev.


Internet Encyclopedia: Philosophy of Law

The Opticon: Online Repository of Materials covering Spectrum of U.S. Jurisprudence

Foundation for Law, Justice and Society

Bibliography on the Philosophy of Law. Peace Palace Library

Norwegian Association for Legal Philosophy
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