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An Introduction to Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law. It deals with the conceptualization of ideals, the institutions, activities and the individuals at the centre of control that law envisages. Focuses of jurisprudence range from ethics, politics, religion, art and morality. It purports that to be able to adequately study the law a person needs to ‘step back’ and look at the ideas and assumptions portrayed and elicited by the laws they are investigating. From this it goes on instigating querying what affect the law has upon the society, who it oppresses, who it marginalises and who it truly benefits; the latter, in nearly all circumstances, the rich, powerful and influential. It develops into genres, which, and through, the multidisciplinary of oppressive laws can be scrutinized. Above all, the key benefit of jurisprudence is focusing on the evaluation and criticism of existing laws, and through this constant questioning of the veracity the final underlying inequalities that have been allowed to come to fruition can be quashed.


1. Brief Introduction
2. Force of Law
3. Natural Law Theory
4. Postmodernism, Marx, Paper Chase
5. Legal Rights
6. Public and Private Law
7. Justice
9. Feminism


Studying Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence provides a wider and deeper understanding of the law. By asking questions to the nature of the law, such as how institutions have relations to it, a variety of perspectives come forth in regards to their standpoint. The yardstick of law, according to feminist, Marxist and critical race theory (CLS), is that of a white heterosexual male, and, as set forth, disregards the standpoint of those outside their normative. This leads to biases in law, the interest that it serves, the way in which it masks inequality, and the injustices that it inevitably constitutes. Other standpoints include economical and political science, which purport that although the semblance of internal standards if a lovely fiction, the truth is that its corollary is nothing more than the mechanical induction of judges who contrast varying legal precepts and mask their agenda behind indecipherable legalistic jargon. The concepts, which are hidden, thus enable the inequality of law to continue forthwith, and, since the majority believe that law is easily understood, the true ingenuity of law is hence ascribable to allow for the exploitation of the class it marginalised. The last reason to study jurisprudence is not in regards to learning and divulging theories, but in the ability to legally evaluate and critically think for oneself. Jurisprudence empowers its disciples to look into the realms of judicial responsibility, the promotion of equal justice, what constitutes morals and personal liability, and the realistic affects of what laws have upon society. A key case in the importance of jurisprudence can be seen in whether a Nazi law, which promoted such inhumane treatment, can be in fact a justifiable law under the natural law theory: Oppenheimer v Catermole (1976). If a law contradicts what a rational, decent and moral person constitutes as permissible the verifiable aspects of the law come into dispute. Wherefore, the latter is often accredited to natural law and posited law, the corollary often means that natural law, as a higher law, trumps posited.

Next: The Force of Law

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