The Different Theories of Law
Law is one of the most complex subjects to study and has been defined by many theories. Each theory differs from the other and each has its own strengths and weaknesses but the main point is that no single theory can explain or simplify this vast subject. Law is a concept which is ever evolving and changing with the passage of time.
Legal theory is a field of study that deals with the structure and development of law. It is a broad term that encompasses a number of sub-fields like legal philosophy, sociological theory etc. Most of these theories deal with the different aspects and facets of law, its role in society and its effect on individuals.
The term “law” is used to refer to a set of rules or guidelines imposed on the members of a society. These rules are enforceable through the judicial system. The laws may be in the form of statutes, regulations or judicial decisions. The rules are primarily based on the fundamental principle of justice and fairness. They are also required to be publicly known, enforceable and not retroactive.
According to the sociological school of thought, law is a phenomenon that develops due to the silent growth of custom and as a result of unformulated public or professional opinion. This theory also assumes that there are conflicting groups in the society and the law is a tool for harmonizing them. It also tries to understand the role of law in social evolution.