Historical and Analytical School of Jurisprudence

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Historical School of Jurisprudence

The main aspect of the Historical School is the relationship between Law and Society. This school believes that the law is the result of local and social customs, local people and local history. This school mainly believes that each society has its own specific needs and necessities which mainly determine the behavior of the society. As the needs change; behavior also changes.

Following jurists has contributed to the development of the Historical School:-

  • Henry Maine – His vision was too broad to include it within the boundaries of a single school. Its main contribution has been the evolution or transformation of societies “from statute to contract” and “Legislation, Legal fictions and equity.
  • Savigny – He is the father of the Historical School – and his major contribution to this school was the “Volkgeist theory” – which means that the law has its roots in the general will or the general conscience of the people. According to him,  the law grows with growth and becomes stronger with the strength of the people and eventually dies as the nation loses its nationality.
  • Montesquieu – He is the first jurist of the historical school and is often credited for the evolution of the Historical School. In his famous book “Spirit of Laws” he said that the law must keep pace with the changing needs of society.
  • Puchta – He believed that neither the people nor the state alone could be the source of the law. “Man likes to live in unity and this unity prepares the ground for the general will.” According to him, the state comes into practice only to regulate the system when there is a conflict between the general will of the people and the personal interest of the individual.
  • Burke – According to him, Law is the product of general process, which means that law is a dynamic process that changes and develops according to the appropriate circumstances of society.

Analytical School of Jurisprudence

The main aspect of the Analytical School is relationship of Law with State. The main Exponents of this School are Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. Both are popularly regarded as the Fathers of Analytical School.

Jeremy Bentham, in his book “Limits of Jurisprudence Defined”, stated that the purpose of the state is to provide and ascertain maximum freedom and maximum happiness – this is known as the doctrine of utility. According to Bentham, the ultimate end of the law is “the greater happiness of the greatest number” and the ultimate goal of the law is “to bring pleasure and avoid pain” – to remove obstacles to freedom of human being – this means Bentham was a supporter of ‘Let the Men Free’.

The lectures of John Austin are accumulated in the name of the “Province of Defined Jurisprudence” – According to him, “the law is a rule established to guide a smart person by an another smart person who has power over him”.