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Sources of law


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Sources, Classification of law and Sources of law and India

Published in: Law
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Sources of law

  1. 1. Sources of Law
  2. 2. Introduction  The term sources of law has been used in different senses by different writers and different views have been expressed from time to time.  CK Allen – “agencies through which the rules of conduct acquire the character of law by becoming definite, uniform and compulsory”  Vinogradoff – “process by which the rule of law may be evolved”  Oppenheimer – “the name for a historical fact out of which the rules of conduct duct come into existence and acquire legal force”
  3. 3. Classification of Sources of Law  Formal Sources : Formal sources are called the actual sources or ultimate sources of law. John Salmons defines formal source of law as that “sources” from which a rule of law derives it’s force and validity.  What constitutes the formal, actual or ultimate source of law will depend upon the definition of law applied by a person. If the law is seen as the embodiment of natural law then justice, morality, truth and other ideals laid down are the formal sources.  To sum up, we say that formal source of the law tells us about the validity of the law.
  4. 4. Classification of sources  Material sources: Material sources of law are those from which are derived the matter and not the validity of law.  As the word material suggests material sources deal with the substance, elements or constituent material of the law.  Material sources of law are of two types: Legal Historical
  5. 5. Legal sources of law  Legal sources of law are those sourced which are the instruments or organs of the state by which legal rules are created. Legal sources of law are the following: -Legislation: It I’d a law having its source in legislation. Legislation is the laying down of rules by legislature which is an important organ of the state. -Precedent: Precedents signify judicial decisions. They are statements of law found in past decisions of courts. -Custom: Custom signifies the habits and practices of the people. -Agreements: an agreement is the state of being in accord or conformity with as to agree to the details of a transaction.
  6. 6. Historical sources of law  The rest of sources of law are historical sources. These are unauthorative. They are sources but have no legal recognition. They operate indirectly and mediately. Under this class come juristic writings, foreign decisions and numerous other things from which a judge derives help in shaping his judgement. They are of two types: -Religion and morality -Literary sources of law: Means the original sources of law which come from authorities on law. A literary source being an original source, any commentary written on the original work cannot constitute a literary source of law.
  7. 7. Sources of law and India  Hindus and Muslims constituted the major population of India prior to the British rule who were governed by their personal laws. Srutis, Smrutis, Commentaries/Digests, Tikas.  Custom are primary classical sources of Hindu law whereas Quran, Sunnah, or Ahdis, Ijmaa, Qiyas and Usages are the main sources of Muslim law.  However, the role of custom is diminishing as a source day by day as the societies are changing fast adopting new ways of living the role of precedent as a source of law is also limited because he judges have to take help of many other sources.
  8. 8. Thank you