Introduction To Law

Different jurist have provided different definition and nature of law. Reason due to which different jurist have provided different definitions and nature of law is that there was difference between time and social setup that influenced their opinion about the matter.  
We may classify the various definitions into five broad classes-
  • Natural
  • Positivistic
  • Historical
  • Sociological
  • Realistic

Under this school fall most of the ancient definitions given by Romans and other ancient Jurists.

Ulpine  defined law as “the art or science of what is equitable and good”

Cicero  said that law is” the highest reason implanted in nature”

Justinian’s digest defines Law as “ the standard of what is just and unjust”

In all these definitions, propounded by Romans “justice” is the main guiding element of law.
Ancient Hindu view was that ‘law’ is the command of God and not of any political sovereign. Thus, ‘law’ is a part of ‘Dharma’. The idea of ‘justice’ is always present in Hindu concept of law.

Salmond, one of the leading modern natural law thinkers, defines law as “the body of principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice”.

According to Austin, “Law is the aggregate of rules set by man as politically superior, or sovereign, to men as political subject.”

In other words , Law is the ‘ command of the sovereign’. Thus, command, duty and sanction are the three elements of law. Kelsen gave a ‘ pure theory of law’. According to him , law is ‘ normative science’

Savigny’s theory of law can be summarized as follows-
- That a law is matter of unconscious and organic growth.
- Law is not universal in its nature.
- Custom not only precedes legislation but it is superior to it.
- Legislation is the last stage of law making.

Customs or customary law
Customs have played an important role in making the law and therefore are also known as customary law. Every custom does not become law. A custom, to be valid, must be observed continuously for a very long time without any interruption.

Judicial decisions or precedents
Precedent can be defined as some set pattern guiding the future conduct. In the judicial field, precedents means the guidance or authority of past decisions of superior courts for inferior courts for future cases. Only those decisions which lay down some new rule or principle are called judicial precedents

Statutes or legislation
Legislation is that source of law which consists in the declration or promulgation of lagal rules by an authority duly empowered by the constitution in that behalf

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