In this article, we shall rant, though productive, about the importance of legal philosophy. The word “Legal Philosophy” is not an obscure term, especially for legal scholars. When the attorneys are presenting their arguments to the judge, it is not simply about comprehending and applying the law. It is a mode of thinking that enables legal practitioners to make better decisions and better legal approach by viewing problems from several angles.
In the field of legal philosophy, it may try to address the following concerns: Where does the authority and control of the law come from? If only we knew more about how laws influence people and what makes a law legal and enforceable. This frequently occurs, particularly in constitutional law.
A common goal of legal philosophy is to set law apart from other normative systems, such as morality or other social customs. It makes sense that when philosophy is applied to legal practice and law, it will become more consistent with human thinking and proceeding, making it more just and acceptable. This is because philosophy is so intimately tied to wisdom, ethics, morals, and behavior.
Accordingly and as a matter of legal thought, laws should be passed as a consequence of a logical, well-informed conversation about human nature and needs, paying special attention to the rights, needs, and issues that affect society as a whole. This may have become the legal norm.
Regardless of where the laws come from or how formal they are, legal philosophy aims to give clarity on what is good and wrong and how they should be applied in our community. This is also a law school idea or may be an abstract belief.
“Even when distinct from other elements, beliefs are usually diffusely articulated through sacred literature, legal codes, liturgical formulae, and theological and philosophical inquiry rather than being declared in creedal form.”
Natural Law Theory
According to the ethics and philosophy notion known as “natural law,” human beings have inherent values that guide their thought and conduct. For natural law, humans naturally possess these concepts of good and wrong; they were not developed by society or legal authorities.1
The “source-based character” of law, or its reliance on social facts like legislation, custom, or judicially established precedents, is said by proponents of natural law theory to be a crucial and essential component in “law’s capacity to advance the common good, to secure human rights, or to govern with integrity.”2
Once divorced from higher natural law, the positive law of our legislators and courts resembled paper money unhinged from gold. This natural rule is the cornerstone of criminalistics and the incentive for collecting and analyzing trace evidence.3
Historically, positivism evolved in opposition to classical natural law theory, which holds that moral limitations on the substance of law are required. According to natural law theory, the universe is made up of many creatures and objects whose essence predisposed them to achieve higher goals.
Many individuals believe that legal positivism is the more compelling legal philosophy than law of morality. The notion of legal positivism defines law as a norm that is justified using certain formal standards. This is consistent with the notion of legal order exclusivity, which is a core component of legal positivism.
One school is known as exclusive legal positivism, and it is related with the belief that a norm’s legal validity can never be determined by its moral appropriateness. Legal positivism is a theoretical framework that emphasizes the customary character of law.
Legal positivism demands just that anything be law by virtue of its facticity rather than its worth, and that we may explain that facticity without analyzing its merits. Legal positivism has its foundation in social practice.
Legal positivism maintains that the presence of positive law may be established just via observation and recording, with no previous philosophical assumptions about the nature or meaning of “law” itself required.
“Legal positivists contend that while humans may make laws, they can only do it logically; they cannot make laws out of thin air.”
Various philosophers have challenged legal positivism for failing to stand up to inspection, most notably Karl Llewelyn, who claims that positivism “accepts as true anything can be shown by observation.”
What is legal philosophy?
The study of the nature, application, and the evaluative theories of law is known as legal philosophy, among others. It concerns issues such as what defines a legal system, how laws ought to be created and administered, and what restrictions they need to have. Legal philosophy also addresses the moral implications of the law, including whether laws are morally righteous or unfair and whether they should still be upheld.
“The word ‘legal philosophy’ is used to refer broadly to the area of law and social science that examines, analyzes, and interprets legal norms. The intellectual underpinnings of law and legal institutions as they developed historically via social processes in every region and era are the subject of legal philosophy.”
It is a sphere of study aiming to respond to queries about the nature of law and how morality, politics, religion, and other topics relate to it. Legal philosophers frequently seek to understand the creation of laws, what makes them good or terrible, and why they are even necessary. They also make an effort to define what it means for a law to be just or effective.
What do you understand by legal philosophy?
This field is crucial to the advancement of two important fields of study: social science and law, and it is a component of all academic disciplines. As a result, it has played a significant role in both legal training and practice for many years. Legal philosophy has frequently come up in political discussions throughout history.
“Legal philosophy seeks to clarify the purpose, characteristics, and operation of laws. Legal philosophers debate topics like whether they should be based on reason or religion, whether they should be applied equally to all citizens or only to those who can afford them, whether they should be written in a way that is clear and understandable or only after much discussion and deliberation, and more.”
There are many subfields within the area of legal philosophy. “Jurisprudence” is a significant subfield that analyzes the essence of justice, legal principles, and legal reasoning (theories).4
Another area of study is “legal realism,” which focuses on how judges really implement the law rather than just putting those ideas into practice. Political philosophy is an important area that investigates political institutions including legislatures, courts, elections, and constitutions.
What is the importance of legal philosophy?
The legal profession needs legal philosophy. It aids in the understanding of how the law works, how it is created, what issues arise, and how they are resolved utilizing various legal concepts by attorneys and other legal experts.
Thus, an essential component of the study of law is legal philosophy. A law student’s understanding of the law can be built on the discussion, investigation, and reasoning that go into the study of legal philosophy.
Legal philosophy is significant because it has an impact on every part of our life. It may influence the study of law and justice. Such also covers views about the nature of law and governance as well as human rights and how they should be upheld.
There are ideas concerning when laws are fair or unfair, as well as whether or not laws should apply equally to everyone, regardless of color, gender, or religion. Similarly, legal philosophy can help us understand how the law has developed over time, how it works in our society today, and what it should address in the future.
Legal philosophers, for instance, may teach us why certain laws are more just than others, why some groups could have been treated unfairly by current laws, and how various parties can profit from amending these laws.
We may think about law in a way that goes beyond the fundamental mechanics of rules and processes with the aid of legal philosophy. It enables us to comprehend the goals of laws, their purpose, and which ones are most effective. Legal philosophy aids in our ability to consider how laws should develop in response to a changing social environment.
“Legal philosophy also enables us to comprehend why certain laws appear to be unfair or unjust. Take a legislation prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sunday afternoons, for instance. This might seem unfair because it does not give people who like to drink on Sunday afternoon enough time to shop for groceries (or have lunch) before closing time on Sunday night.
“What if, however, you make the case that this legislation is really just since it forbids establishments from selling alcohol during off-duty hours, when the majority of people aren’t working but still want to spend time having fun or relaxing with friends and family? Because it favors some company owners over those who don’t want to work on Sundays, this situation appears unjust.”
Why does law need philosophy?
Law is not just a set of rules or guidelines. It is also a system of thought that attempts to reconcile competing interests and values within society as a whole. Legal philosophy is concerned with how laws should be read, how they should evolve through time, how they should be applied, and how they affect people’s lives.
For legal philosophers and scholars, a law’s foundation is its legal philosophy. It serves as the cornerstone for all other elements of the law. The philosophy gives a foundation for comprehending and applying the law.
There are two ways philosophy may be utilized to create new laws. For starters, it might serve as a springboard or source of inspiration for reforming or revising current legislation. Second, it can assist attorneys in better understanding current laws so that they can apply them more successfully in court.
Lawyers frequently employ philosophical arguments in court to persuade judges and juries of their ideas. This is especially true when it comes to sensitive legal topics like abortion, capital punishment, gun control, same-sex marriage, and environmental protection.
Judges’ decisions on the bench, as opposed to those made behind closed doors, when they only have access to the evidence offered by the parties to the case, are significantly influenced by philosophy, especially if they want to dig deeper into the discourse leading to their judgment.
Philosophy of law
To study legal problems, philosophy of law employs abstract notions and general principles rather than empirical data. The primary goal of philosophical methods is to comprehend and identify what makes law what it is, how it operates in society, and why certain types of behavior are penalized by criminal sanctions while others are not. Historically, philosophy has been an integral aspect of legal systems from their inception in ancient times.
“The goal of philosophy of law (or legal philosophy) is to provide a broad philosophical account of law and legal systems. The field’s issues vary from abstract conceptual problems concerning the nature of law and legal systems to normative questions regarding the link between law and morality, as well as the justification for diverse legal institutions.”5
The nature, foundations, and organization of law may be similarly addressed to by legal philosophy. It encompasses concerns regarding legal freedom and justice in general, as well as specific legal systems. However, philosophy of law also reflects many other legal predicaments, such as whether laws are arbitrary or justified, and whether they should be modified or preserved.
Law is an extension of philosophy
The concept of moral imperative is the source of law. The main assumption underpinning moral philosophy is that everything has a purpose, and if we can identify what that purpose is, we can choose the best approach to achieve it. In other words, we may learn how to accomplish something by understanding what it is intended to achieve.
This thought prompts us to consider issues like as, “What is the purpose of life?” What are we doing here? What are our responsibilities and obligations? And how do we carry them out? These questions prompt us to ponder the nature of life and its place in the cosmos. If we uncover answers, we may have a better grasp of our role in the world and a better respect for what it means to live well or poorly.
Because it aims to answer these concerns and give direction on how to live and what ought to be done, without being incompatible with legal systems and established order, law is an extension of philosophy. Law gives us guidelines that assist us better to understand our duties, responsibilities, and respect for other’s rights, thereby, making correct decisions about how to conduct our lives.
Philosophy helps us to understand law
Philosophy aids our understanding of the law. If the law is the result of human intellect and effort, it, like any other useful object or innovation, is subject to change and development. Philosophy’s objective is not just to describe the world, but also to work for its betterment.
“What is excellent, for example, must preoccupy the philosopher. What is right? What brings us joy? What can we do to restore social order without limiting our freedom?”
The philosopher raises such questions because he believes that there are fundamental truths about human nature and society that may be found through serious study and inquiry. He does not believe that these truths exist apart from humans; rather, he believes that they can only be discovered by observing what people do as they engage with one another on a regular basis.
You must study individuals in detail if you want to understand how they act in their everyday lives; if you want to know what they think and feel about themselves, their families and friends, or the world around them, you must pay attention to how they express themselves via words and deeds.
Philosophy offers students with the information, abilities, and attitudes required for legal practice. Critical thinking and reasoning abilities, as well as an awareness of ethical dilemmas and social philosophy, are required.
Students learn how to think critically about their subject matter through philosophy. It also teaches kids how to assess difficult situations and critically evaluate data.
Philosophy enables students to think beyond the boundaries of their profession, allowing them to gain a broader perspective on their job and personal lives.
Law as a system of rules
Law is defined as a set of regulations. The rule of law is the cornerstone of order. It is the basic cause for our species’ existence. There would be no order in society, no governance, and no justice if there was no law.
Law manifests its controlling arm when applied to certain circumstances. It would be nonsensical and inefficient if it were applied to every scenario, even without any relevance to its objective. The purpose of law is to establish order, offer direction, and be corrective measure to those who try to breach it.
Law exists to fulfill a purpose; it exists to function well enough for society to accept it. The rule of law creates a legal system in which everyone is treated equally before the law and may be held accountable for their conduct. This is what distinguishes a civilized society.
A society without the rule of law is like to an orchestra without melody. In an orchestra, various instruments play different melodies at the same time; in a society, different people have diverse ideas on how to attain the group’s common goals. To achieve an agreement and go on, they need rules that safeguard their rights and guarantee that they are treated fairly by one another.
Law and society
Law is an essential component of all civilizations since it aids in the creation of order, predictability, fairness, and justice. For example, if there were no rules prohibiting murder, people would have no reason to feel guilty if they murdered someone else since there would be no penalty for doing so. Without laws there would be anarchy; without law there would be chaos.
Law is an essential component of civilization. It is the cornerstone of order, and without it, chaos reigns. Even if we don’t realize it, we all profit by the law in some manner.
Companies, for example, might force people to labor against their will if there are no laws safeguarding their individual rights. The world would be a lot more hazardous place to live if there were no rules preventing ill-advised conduct or corrupted acts.
Therefore, laws are indispensable to guarantee that there are rules that control society in order for us all to live in an established order and achieve our aims and desires together, as a community.
Legal philosophy has a long history and has had a significant impact on how law is applied and how society is organized today. Legal philosophy provides direction for judges and attorneys when interpreting and judging the law. They are able to read the law more critically and analytically as a result.
It makes it easier for teachers to communicate legal topics to their students. Without this important component of legal practice, all of this would be exceedingly challenging to do. As a result, it is crucial to all facets of legal practice.
Legal philosophy also describes how judges and attorneys ought to conduct themselves in certain situations. It is a philosophy since it attempts to address concerns regarding the moral underpinnings of legislation and assess the significance of that law.
- Natural Law Theories
- The New Philosophy of Criminal Law
- Justice and Legal Reasoning
- Philosophy of Law