Home >> Cyclopedia Of Knowledge >> Germanic Mpire to King >> Jurisprudence


law, juris, legal, positive and concerned

JURISPRUDENCE. The Latin word prudentia (contracted from providentia) came, by a natural transition, to mean know ledge or understanding. " Habebat (says Nepos, Life of Cimon, c. 2) magnam prn dentiam turn juris civilis turn rei nfilita ris :" hence persons skilled in the Roman law were called juris prudentes, or simply prudentes; in the same manner that they were called consulti, as well as juris con sulti. (Hauhold's Lineamenta Instit. Juris .Romani, lib. iv. cap. 5 ; Hugo, Gesehichte des Romischen Reeks, p. 458, ed. xi.) A large part of the Roman law was gradu ally adopted by the legislature and the judices from the writings of the jurists : the emperors moreover sometimes ap pointed persons whose opinions(or re the judex was bound to follow. Dig., lib. i. tit. 2, No. 2, 5-7, 35-47; nst., lib. i. tit. 2, ˘§ 8.) According to the acceptation of the term prudens or juris prudens in the Roman law, juris prudentia is sometimes limited to the dexterity of a practical lawyer in apply ing rules of law to individual eases whence the technical use of the term jurisprudence in the French legal language for law founded on judicial decisions or on the writings of jurists.

By genera! jurisprudence is properly meant the science or philosophy of positive law, as distinguished from particular ju risprudence, or the knowledge of the law of a determinate nation. " General juris prudence, or the philosophy of positive law, is not concerned directly with the science of legislation : it is concerned directly with principles and distinctions which are common to various systems of particular and positive law, and which each of those various systems inevitably involves, let it be worthy of praise or blame, or let it accord or not with an assumed measure or test. General juris

prudence is concerned with law as it ne cessarily is, rather than with law as it ought to be ; with law as it must be, be it good or bad, rather than with law as it must be, if it be good." (Austin, Out line of a Course of Lectures on General Jurisprudence, p. 3.) For example, every system of positive law must involve such notions as sovereignty, legal right, legal duty, legal sanction, civil or criminal in jury, the grounds of imputation or legal guilt, and of non-imputation or legal in nocence, property, possession, &c., which therefore belong to the province of general jurisprudence. [LAW ; LEGISLATION. J A detailed, precise, and lucid descrip tion of the province of general jurispru dence will he found in Mr. Austin's work of the subject (8vo. London, 1832), and the annexed outline of a course of lec tures. (Journal of Education, No. 8, p. 285.) A list of works on general jurisprudence may be seen in Krug's • Philosophisches Lexicons in the article Rechtslehre.

The jurists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries treated the subject of general jurisprudence under the name of the law of nature, and often combined it in the same treatise with International Law, or the Law of Nations, in the modern acceptation of that term. The work of Grotius,' De Jure Belli et Pacis,' though professedly limited to Interna tional Law, is in part composed upon this 'principle; but that of Puffendorf,' De Jure Nature: et Gentium,' affords the best ex ample of this mode of treatment. These works ought to be read with the excel lent and instructive commentary of Bar beyrac. [INTERNATIONAL LAW.)