Jurisprudence is the study of law by philosophers and social scientists. Scholars of jurisprudence are known as jurists or legal theorist and want to understand the legal reasoning, legal systems, legal institutions and the role of laws in society.
The origins of modern jurisprudence date to the 18th century and firstly, this discipline focused on natural law, civil law and law of nations.
The discipline can be divided into different categories depending on the type of questions jurists try to answer and the theory of jurisprudence.
Jurisprudence is usually classified into three main branches which are natural law, analytical jurisprudence and normative jurisprudence.
The natural law asserts that there are rational limits to the power of legislative rulers. Natural law can be interpreted in two ways: the strong natural law thesis and the weak natural law thesis. The first thesis asserts that if an individual law fails to be blocked by decisive reasons, this is not a law at all. The second thesis states that if a human law fails to be blocked by decisive reasons, this can be recognised only as a defective law.
Analytical jurisprudence focuses on the use of a neutral point of view and descriptive language when referring to the elements of legal systems. This branch refuse the natural law which focuses on what law is and should be.
Normative jurisprudence evaluates the theory of law and tries to understand different topics such as the moral and political theories at the base of the law, the proper functions of the code, which acts are subjects to punishments and which penalties are permitted.
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