Definition, Nature, Scope & Importance of Jurisprudence

Definition and Meaning

The term Jurisprudence is a Latin term having meaning ‘Knowledge of Law or Skill of Law’ (Juris=Law). (Prudence=Knowledge of Law).

It is defined as a study of the fundamental legal principles including their philosophical, historical, and sociological bases, and, an analysis of
legal concepts. It is a type of investigation into the essential principles of law and the legal systems (Salmond). It is the science of the first principles of civil law. Legal concepts like contracts, torts or criminal law consist of a set of rules. It has no such legal authority, and further, it has no practical
application. The jurists have a free approach in their investigations. Further, the method of enquiry in jurisprudence is different from other
legal subjects.

Jurisprudence study about the law and includes the study of the term law, sources of law and legal terminologies.
It has been defined by various authors as follows:-

  1. Salmond:-Jurisprudence is defined as the Science of Law. In science, there is a systematic study of Nature and in Jurisprudence there
    is a systematic study of Law.
  2. Austin:- According to this author Jurisprudence is the philosophy of Positive Law. And it governesses all actions of human being
    which are illegal and unjustified.
  3. Gray:- According to this author Jurisprudence is the study of legal systems of all the countries.
  4. Duguit :- According to this author Jurisprudence is knowledge of just and unjust. And Human law and Divine Law or Natural law.

Nature of Jurisprudence

  1. It is Uncodified Law
  2. It is common law in all countries
  3. This law has been developed and not enacted by the Legislative.
  4. It is also called legal theory, there is an actual study of the term law in Jurisprudence.
  5. There is no scope for amendment and it is developing out of legal knowledge of the people.

Scope of Jurisprudence

There is a wide scope of Jurisprudence and it is related to so many other subjects that can be explained as follows:

  1. Jurisprudence and economics:-

Economics is the science of wealth. People commit many illegal activities for the sake of wealth and law tries to control illegal activities and to punish the criminal’s same law is studied in Jurisprudence and therefore Jurisprudence and economics are correlated.

  1. Jurisprudence and Politics:-

Laws are enacted by political parties. Who are elected by people called as Legislatures. Jurisprudence study law enacted by political parties who are in power and therefore Jurisprudence is also related with Political Science.

  1. Jurisprudence and Sociology :-

Sociology is also called as Science of Society. It studies about the development of Society. Law is the requirement of Society. Which is studied in Jurisprudence and it is related with Sociology.

  1. Jurisprudence and Ethics:- (Ethics means Morality)

Ethics or morality is base of Law. Many Laws have been enacted by considering morality. But it is not in all the laws. Therefore law and morality are ethics are also correlated.

Importance of Jurisprudence

  1. It is compared with science which shows the importance of Jurisprudence.
  2. It studies the legal systems of all the countries.
  3. It is called as foundation or base of the law and the study of jurisprudence is much important.
  4. It is related to many other subjects which shows the importance
    of jurisprudence.
  5. It makes a study of term law and sources of law which is necessary.
  6. It is like a tool in hands of legal expertise which is helpful in the interpretation of the law.