Introduction to Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence, in its nature, is entirely a different subject from other social science. The reason for this is that it is not codified but a growing and dynamic subject having no limitation on itself.

Its inquiry system is of different status from other subjects. Every jurist does not base his study on the rules but tries to understand their utility after due deliberation. Thus, the jurisprudence has no limited scope being a growing subject.

There is a difference of opinion about the nature of jurisprudence. It is called both art and science. But to call it science would be more proper and useful.

This is just as in science, and we conclude by Making a systematic study by inventing new methods. In the same way, jurisprudence is concerned with the fundamental principles of law systematic and scientific study their methods.

Scope of Jurisprudence

According to justice P.B.Mukherjee:

” Jurisprudence is both an intellectual and idealistic abstraction as well as a behavioral study of man in society. It includes political, social, economic, and cultural ideas. It covers that study of man concerning state and society.”

Jurisprudence involves certain types of investigations into law and investigation of an abstract, general, and theoretical nature that seeks to lay the bare essential principles of law and legal systems.

Salmond observed:

“In jurisprudence, we are not concerned to derive rules from authority and apply them to a problem, and we are concerned rather reflect on the nature of legal rules, on the underlying meaning of legal concepts and the essential features of the legal system.

” It, therefore, follows that jurisprudence comprises philosophy of law and its object is not to discover new rules but to reflect on the rules already known.


The following are the contents of jurisprudence:-


Indeed, the basic features of a legal system are mainly found in its authoritative sources and the nature and working of the legal authority behind these sources. Under this head, matters such as custom, legislation, precedent as a source of law, pros and cons of codification of laws, judicial interpretation and reasoning methods, an inquiry into the administration of justice, etc. are included for study.

Legal Concepts

Jurisprudence includes analyzing legal concepts such as rights, title, property, ownership, possession, obligations, acts, negligence, legal personality, and related issues. However, all these concepts are equally studied in the ordinary branches of law; since each of the functions in several different law branches, jurisprudence tries to build a more comprehensive picture of each concept as a whole.

  Legal Theories

Legal theory is concerned with law as it exists. It functions in society and how it is created and enforced and the influence of social opinion and law. Therefore, it is necessary that while analyzing legal concepts, and effort should be made to present them in the background of social developments and changing economic and political attitudes.


It is often said that jurisprudence is an abstract and theoretical subject and is not practical. But it is not correct to say so. Its utility is as under:-

1. Salmond pointed out that jurisprudence has its own intrinsic interest like and other serious scholarship; likewise, the writer on jurisprudence may be impelled to his subject by its intrinsic interest. The legal researches on jurisprudence may well have their effect on contemporary socio-political thought and, at the same time, may themselves be influenced by these ideologies.

2. Jurisprudence also has its practical applicability. In other words, it serves to render the complexities of law more manageable and rational, and in this way, theory can help to improve practice in the seats of law.

3. Jurisprudence has great educational value. The logical analysis of legal concepts widens the outlook of lawyers and sharpens their logical technique. It helps them in shading aside their rigidity and formalism and trains them to concentrate on social realities and the law’s functional aspects.

It is not the form of law but the social function of law, which has relevance in modern jurisprudence. For instance, a proper understanding of the law of contract may perhaps require some knowledge of economic and economic theory, or a proper grasp of criminal law may need some knowledge of criminology and psychiatry and perhaps also of sociology.

4. Commenting on the significance and utility of jurisprudence:

Holland observed, “ the ever-renewed complexity of human relations call for the increasing complexity of legal details, till a merely empirical knowledge of law becomes impossible.” Thus jurisprudence throws light on the basic ideas and the fundamental principles of law in a given society.

This way, it has been characterized as “The eye of law.”

5. Jurisprudence helps the Judges and the Lawyers ascertain the true meaning of the legislature’s laws by providing the interpretation.

6. The study of jurisprudence helps in rationalizing the students’ thinking and prepares them for an upright civil life. The knowledge of the law and legal precepts also helps them to face every exigency of human affairs boldly and courageously.

7. Jurisprudence may also be helpful o legislators who play a crucial role in the process of law-making. The study of jurisprudence may familiarise them with technicalities of law and legal precepts, thus making their job fairly easy as also interesting.

According to Dias, the study of jurisprudence provides an opportunity for the lawyer to bring theory and life into focus, for it concerns human thought concerning social existence.

The law should serve the purpose of social-engineering by preserving societal values and eliminating conflicting interests of individuals in society.


On account of the importance of jurisprudence in the field of law, it is called “The eye of Law.” The eyes are one of the most important parts of the human body. Almost all human activities and the movements of the body are possible only through them. Unless a man can see anything properly, he cannot do any work.

The reason for calling jurisprudence the ‘ the eye of law’ is that jurisprudence functions for law in the same manner as the eyes do in the human body.

For example,- the interpretation of the law is a complicated task; it cannot be done without jurisprudence.

‘PATON’ in this connection says that,” Jurisprudence is a particular method of study, not the law of one particular county but of the general notions of law itself.’ Whenever any complicated problem regarding law like:-

1 How and when the law developed.

2 What is its object.

People made 3 Whether the law, or it was due to some Divine force’s inspiration.

4 Whether the law is a command of a sovereign or it results from the gradual development of civilization in society.

The main function of jurisprudence is to study the origin of law, its development, and its contribution towards society. The matters of birth, marriages, death, succession, etc., are equally controlled through laws.

The well-known saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” hence it is essential to know the correct basic principles of law, which are contained only in the jurisprudence.

Law is also connected with city life. A person who obeys laws is known as a civilized citizen. A person who does not obey the law is punished.


Therefore, all the people must have a sound knowledge of the law, which is possible only with jurisprudence. Therefore, jurisprudence, having so much importance for society, has rightly been called the eye of law.