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Sociological Jurisprudence Characteristics and Its Definition

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To know if the sociological and economic goals of the country is realised in the past 25 yrs thorough sociological jurisprudence, we have to first know about sociological jurisprudence.

Law is considered as a social fact or reality to form and change the society to sub-serve its needs, expectations and goals through law in the sociological approach. The supreme concern of law is to consider The interrelationship between law and society and the study of community and of social phenomena, of group or individual interests and their realization and fulfillment. Most of the jurists will define law in the relation to society in terms of ends which law serves, the interests which the law satisfies and the common good which the law seeks to achieve – If the law is made as an implementation of social control and change in the society, then they are combined together as jurists who belong to sociological school of jurisprudence.

Sociological Jurisprudence is nothing but a functional study of law which is applied to existing social problems in order to make law an effective instrument of social control for matching the conflicting interest of individuals in the society. Law has wider suggestions and also includes judicial decisions and administrative processes used for unification of the competing interests of the people. It is for this reason that sociological jurisprudence has also been called as functional jurisprudence or jurisprudence of interests or jurisprudence of social engineering.

The characteristics of Sociological Jurisprudence are as follows:

  1. Sociological jurists are concerned more with the working of law rather than with the nature of law. They considered law as the reliable source to take decisions and of the judicial and administrative processes rather than theoretical content of reliable precepts.
  2. Law is considered to be a social institution by social jurists because they feel that law can be deliberately made and also can be changed, modified or retained at any time or on the basis of experience. In other words, it synthesizes both the analytical and historical approach to the study of law.
  3. Sociological Jurists lay emphasis upon social purposes, goals and expectations which are the law sub- serves rather upon sanctions and coercive character of law.
  4. Sociological jurists look on legal institutions, doctrines and precepts functionally and consider the form of legal precepts as a matter of means only to satisfy greatest good of the greatest number.

The main objective of sociological jurisprudence is to resolve immediate problems of society with such tools like legal or extra-legal & techniques which promote agreement and stability of Interest of society. Further the sociological jurists training also rejected the analytical and historical jurisprudence because the concept of jurisprudence considers law as an Instrument of serving the Individuals in society.

I feel that the sociological and economic goals of the country are realising and most of the goals are realized in the past 25 years through sociological jurisprudence. India is now adopting new laws and there was a change in the perspective of law itself. In our country the main objective of law is to consider the needs of the society and also the interests of the individual person. The law is made according to the situations which are in the society unlike before 25 years the judges, lawyers and the law makers did not even consider the society and the problems which are existing in the society while making law.

As the law has no relevance or relationship with the life of the people of India because of British parliament, the changes that have to be take place in the society were very slow. Instead of discovering the needs of the people, the role of judges was to just interpret the written or stated law in logical manner irrespective of the considerations of social justice. Even now some of our jurisprudence is in the same way but most of it is changed and now the judges are even considering about the society while giving a judgement or before imposing any kind of punishment or any order on someone.

Now, India became free and it adopted the new Constitution with a view to establish justice in social, economic and political way. To achieve certain goals the planners of India introduced the system of economic planning with an objective to promote the welfare of people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political shall inform all institutions of national life. Accordingly, State evolved new social and economic policies to achieve the above ends. The old analytical approach towards law was obviously abandoned in the interest of common goods as it was unnecessary, unreal and inconvenient to the emergence of new social order. Hence a new sociological approach for reconciling conflicting social interests and values became necessary for bringing peaceful social change through law.

In modern society there is a drastic change in the social relations and there is lot of growth. This change has got many new interpretations, some through political theories and others on the basis of partial part of law. Some of the modern theories are nothing but an analysis of legal systems of the countries in which they are propounded. These jurists are classified as Nazi, Fascist, Soviet or Communist, or American.

In the past 25 years there has been a lot of change, earlier there was no proper Sociological approach to the study of law towards the end of the 19th century, Rather it was a reaction against the formal and barren approach of the analytical jurists and the pessimistic approach of the historical jurists. There is a need to study law in its functional and practical aspects but not in mere abstraction. In the beginning of 20th century, there was a great disbelief in the eternal principles of natural law because the economic and social conflicts are increasing day by day and no one is concentrating on the sociological and economic goals. All these conflicts became an obstruction in the way of legal reform, social change and economic justice.

The theory of inalienable natural rights was now considered as laissez – faire philosophy. This led the States to expand the dimension of their activities to such matters as health, insurance, education, old age security and other form of social and economic aspects of welfare. Hence a new approach towards the study of law in relation to its ends, purposes and functions for ordering and regulating to its ends, purposes and functions for ordering and regulating relationship between individuals and groups of individuals emerge which is described as the sociological jurisprudence.

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Sociological Jurisprudence Characteristics and Its Definition. (2019, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2021, from
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