Introduction to Legal Theory

One of the most fundamental issues in the practice and study of law is largely concerned with the ability of law to address the most profound open ended questions, for instance, conception of morality, justice, rights etc. The blog, as its name suggests, aspires to present a picture of such discussions, free from any social or political consideration or any bias of any form. It intends to do a comprehensive analysis of various situations and tries to analyze what the perspective of a common man would be. In many cases, of course, there may not be ‘one right answer’ but conceptualization on such subject matters is vital after taking various perspectives into account. These conceptual claims form the basis of various ‘strong opinions’ regarding any question of law.

Why should we study legal theory? The object behind it is to ascertain why law exists. What does it seek to achieve? What are the principles that are inherent in the laws that we follow everyday? What should be the content of law? These are questions integral to the study of law and legal theory is the discipline that tries to examine these questions. We, through this blog, aim to help you understand the various questions that legal theory poses and help you find your own answers to the same.

There are questions regarding the relevance of the many legal theories propounded by different jurists in today’s times. Even the very possibility of the existence of a theory that is universally acceptable is inconceivable. This is so because the subject of legal theory embraces a large variety of matters such as psychological and economic interpretations of legal phenomena, which pose further difficulties in arriving at a theory that appeals to all. It involves enquiries of a fundamental nature (What is a ‘right’? What is a ‘duty’?), which, in themselves, turn upon the definition of other terms.

The roadmap of the blog shall comprise of four basic sections. The first section of our discussion will revolve around ‘law’ as a phenomenon as explained by various eminent jurists in the history of the discipline. The blog shall also take into account how these theories have developed over time and how it applies in real life situations in present time.

The second major section shall cover the most complex discussions in the discipline. The discussion on the concept of ‘justice’ is perplexing and more often driven by our own conceptions of ‘good’ or ‘right’. This blog shall try to present theories which have attempted to to transcend the personal or individual conceptions of ‘good’ or ‘right’.

The next section shall focus on questions pertaining to the ‘obligation to obey law’. This idea has been the basis of philosophical discussions since time immemorial. This section will be followed by contemporary debates in jurisprudence on natural justice, sovereignty, homosexuality, right to pornography, right to abort a child and so on.

We hope that this blog shall be your fortnightly dose of jurisprudential discussions. Keep reading!


[This blog is authored by Rishabh Sant Tiwari, V year student at National Law University, Jodhpur and Abhinav Gupta, III year student at National Law University, Jodhpur under the guidance of Professor S.K. Kaushik].


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