Q.7. Discuss the ethical or philosophical school of Jurisprudence.
Ans. According to the exponents of this school, legal philosophy must be based on ethical values so as to motivate people for an up-right living. The science of ethics deals with the principles of morality which moulds man’s conduct enabling him to distinguish between right and. wrong and respect the rights of others in order to maintain social harmony. According lo this school, the purpose of law is to maintain law and order, in society and legal restrictions can be justified only if they promote the freedom of individuals in society. The ethical school of jurisprudence expounds the first principle of law as it ought to be. It is neither concerned with the historical past, nor with the analytical present, but with the future of law as it ought to be. The salient features of the ethical jurisprudence may briefly be stated as follows :
(1) the concept of justice has a philosophical or ethical content and law and justice are closely inter-related concepts. Law is a means to attain the ends of justice. Thus, law Is only an instrument towards the fulfilment of the objective of justice;
(2) ethical school of jurisprudence concerns itself with the manner in which the law fulfils its purpose of attainment of justice;
(3) it seeks to differentiate between the spheres of law and justice;
(4) it attempts to highlight the ethical significance of legal conceptions.
The ethical of philosophical school considers law as the means by which individual’s will is harmonised with the general will of the community. The proximate object of jurisprudence is to secure liberty to the individual for the attainment of human perfection. Thus, liberty is one of the essential pre-requisites for the perfection of human personality. It is in this sense that philosophical jurisprudence became the common ground of moral and legal philosophy, and of ethics and jurisprudence.
Hugo Gortius. Kant, Hegel and Sebelling are considered to be the main exponents of the ethical or philosophical school of jurisprudence.