Define and explain the meaning of Jurisprudence. What are the contents of Jurisprudence ?

Discuss the nature and scope of ‘Jurisprudence’. Evaluate the need and importance of the subject in the study of law.

Ans. The word “jurisprudence” has been derived from a Latin word ‘Jurisprudentia’, which in its widest sense, means ‘knowledge of law’. The Latin word `juris’ means law and “prudentia” means skill or knowledge. Thus, jurisprudence signifies knowledge of law and its application. In this sense it covers the whole body of legal principles in the world.

Jurisprudence, in its limited sense, means elucidation of the general principles upon which actual rules of law are based. It is concerned with rules or external conduct which persons’are constraint to obey. Therefore, etymologicaly jurisprudence is that science which imparts to us knowledge above etymologically “law”. The ‘law’ of course, is a term of various connotations; here we use the term ‘law’ in its abstract sense, that is to say, in the’Sense of concrete statues not in the sense of principles underlying law. Thus, for example, there are various branches of law prevalent in a modern State such as contract, torts, crime, property, trusts, companies, labour relations, insolvency etc. and in jurisprudence we have to study the basic principles of each of these branches and we are not concerned with detailed rules of these laws.

In yet another sense, jurisprudence maybe regarded as the philosophy of law dealing with the nature and function of law. This approach to jurisprudence is receiving primacy in modern times keeping in view the rapid social changes taking place all around the world in recent years. This has eventually given rise to what is now termed as the ‘functional jurisprudence’. The thrust being on inter-relationship between law and justice.

The Indian jurisprudence owes its origin to the ancient concept of Dharma which was considered to be the best way to discipline one’s mind.

The practice of Dharma enabled citizens to inculcate a sense of discipline in conducting themselves in the society. This eventually brought about peace and prosperity in the society. However, with the march of time and progress of Indian society, the concept of law and, therefore, of jurisprudence has changed radically. India is now a Soverei Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. Democracy pre-supposes government of the people, by the people and for the people, and, therefore citizens are expected to be self-restrained and self-disciplined.

Definition of Jurisprudence Ulpian, the Roman jurist defined jurisprudence as “the observation of things human and divine, the knowledge of the just and the unjust.

Jaimini has defined Dluuma as “that which is signified by a command, and leads to man’s material and spiritual salvation.”

According to Yajnavalkya ‘Vyavallara’, means those rules which determine the judicial proceeding or controversies. Thus, in this sense jurisprudence deals with the principles underlying the rules which applied in deciding the legal controversies judicially.

Professor Gray has opined that “jurisprudence is the science of law, the statement g.nd systematic arrangement of the rules followed by the courts and the principles involved in those rules.” Thus, jurisprudence deals with that kind of law which consists of rules enforced by courts while administering justice. In other words, the laws of the jurist deals with man and seek to regulate external human conduct in the society.”

Salmond defines jurisprudence as the “Science of the first principles of the civil law.” Thus, he points out that jurisprudence deals with a particular species of law, viz., civil law or the law of the State. The civil law consists of rules applied by courts in the adminsitration of justice. He agrees with Gray in upholding that jurisprudence is concerned with only jurist’s law and is not concerned with the laws of theologian and moralist although they also govern the conduct of man in society. The juristic laws regulate external human conduct only and not the inner beliefs of man. They are enforced by courts of judicial tribunals and carry with them sanctions ranging from capital punishment to a fine or even, a mere admonition. The certainty of the sanctions and the existence of a determinate authority for enforcement distinguishes jurist’s law from that of the moralist.