Meaning and definition of Jurisprudence

The science which studies law is jurisprudence. The term jurisprudence is derived from the Latin term Jurisprudentia. The term jurisprudentia is composed of two Latin terms i.e. juris and prudentia. In Latin language, juris refers to law and prudentia refers to knowledge. Thus, jurisprudence means knowledge of law. We can say that the jurisprudence is a science which studies law. In other words, the science which studies law in a systematic and scientific way is called jurisprudence.

Jurisprudence is the study relating to law. Jurisprudence is the study of abstract principles. It is the knowledge, systematically presented of the ultimate principles that provide the basis for the specific and concrete provisions of actual legal system. The knowledge of analysing and systematizing the essential elements underlying the legal rules without specific reference to the institutions of law of any nation is Jurisprudence. It is a knowledge ; knowledge of law as well as knowledge relating to law , its theory, basis , concepts and tools. Jurisprudence, therefore , was described as “Eye of Law” and “Grammar of Law”.

Jurisprudence is an investigation of an abstract and theoretical nature of law. It deals with essential principles of law and legal system. It is normative evaluation of basic legal values and ideas which impart validity and recognition to a legal system. It is a conceptual analysis of theory of law. Jurisprudence generally consists of scientific and philosophical investigation of social phenomenon of law and justice.

Jurisprudence studies about origin of law, law making process, legal system and many more. All laws are borned from law so it is also called eye of law. Jurisprudence is also called knowledge and skills of law, science and philosophy of law, heart of law, theory of law etc.

Definition of jurisprudence by various jurists:

Ulpian – “Jurisprudence is the knowledge of things, human and divine, the science of the just and the unjust.”

Allen – “Jurisprudence is a scientific synthesis of the essential principles of law.”

Cicero – “Jurisprudence is the phlosophical aspect of knowledge of law.”

Austin – “Jurisprudence is the philosophy of positive law.”

Holland – “Jurisprudence is the formal science of positive law.”

By analysing the above mentioned definition, it is clear that jurisprudence involves the study of general theoretical questions about the nature of law and legal system, relationships between law and justice etc.

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