WHAT IS JURISPRUDENCE?
The term ‘Jurisprudence’ is derived from its Latin equivalent Jurisprudentia which according to the English Oxford Dictionary means knowledge of or skill in law. ‘Juris’ means ‘law’ and ‘prudentia’ means ‘science’ or a ‘systematic body of knowledge’.
Thus etymologically ‘Jurisprudence’ means science of law, the science which treats of human laws in general i.e. philosophy of law. In this general sense all law books, which directly or indirectly treat of the science of law, are books of jurisprudence.
Jurisprudence is the name given to a certain type of investigation into the nature of law, an investigation of an abstract, general and theoretical nature which seeks to lay bare the essential principles of law and legal systems.
Jurisprudence is also a functional study of the concepts which the legal systems develop and of the social interest which the law protects.
According to Holland, jurisprudence is a science and it is progressive in nature. He defines jurisprudence as the ‘formal science of positive law’.
Sir C. K. Allen describes jurisprudence as the scientific synthesis of the essential principles of law.
Prof. Salmond defines jurisprudence in its generic sense as “the Science of Civil Law” and in its specific sense as “the Science of the first principle of the Civil Law”.
In English and French, the word jurisprudence has acquired more limited meaning. In French and also sometimes in German, jurisprudence means specially a course of decisions by the Courts law. In English language the term came to mean vaguely as ‘general and theoretical’ discussion about law and its underlying principles as opposed to the study of actual rules of law.
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Importance of the study of Jurisprudence:
We know jurisprudence has great educational value. Now I will explain the importance of the study of jurisprudence-
- This study will create the student as a skillful and logical lawyer in future.
- It helps the researcher to think about the existing laws.
- The study of jurisprudence can help the lawyers to explain the law through which lawyers can find out the actual rules of law.
- It helps legislators by providing them a precise and unambiguous terminology.
- It helps the judges in ascertaining the true meaning of laws passed by the legislatures by providing the rules of interpretation.