Philosophy of Law

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In ancient times, the basis based on which the relationship between persons were governed solely rested on morality as well as religion, and for the purpose of governing the social relations, the need for law makers were considered to be irrelevant. So, the law which prevailed then for governing the relations between the humans, was the one and only the natural law. But, with the passage of time, the human made law came in to existence for the purpose of regulating human relations. So, the law made by the human beings, protected the relationships and also controlled the behaviour of both the individuals as well as the group, through the development of the institutions by using the normative as well as the directive and the prescriptive rules, providing sanctions at varied levels to maintain a harmony and the social order. But, then again, the issue relating to whether the laws made by the human beings can be the mechanism to bring justice, became vividly prominent. The duties and the obligations with the persistent rights was although acknowledged by the human made laws, but the problem arose whether that right can be considered as human right, or can the human beings enjoy the rights, just because they were humans.


So, a definition of law became pertinent, although a law cannot be defined as a single definition, which can have the universal recognition. The meaning of law, revolves around the four theories, so propounded as the natural law, then the imperative or the positive law, and finally the realist theories and the Marxist theories of law (Avineri, 1968). Natural theory for law (Thomas Aquinas on Natural Law, 2014), defined it as that law which is constituted by justice followed by the morality, and it also highlighted that, anything which deviates from this is utter violence or the proper abuse of natural law. So, it can be understood that, under this theory of law, the source of the law, is not by a human being but by some supernatural entity, who not only created the law, but also the human being. Next is the imperative theory ("John Austin", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013), which reflects the command from a sovereign to the inferiors. Realist theory (The Concept of Law, by H. L. A. Hart, 1996), have a close resemblance to the imperative theory, but the sovereign is vested in the Courts or the Judiciary. Marx Theory (Avineri, 1968) reflects the suppressed class and a total denial of a super natural authority in creation of law. 

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But, is it not possible to live without law, was a typical question, often arises, and to answer this, we will go by the meaningful definition of life in nature, propounded by Thomas Hobbes (HOBBES, THOMAS- ‘SOLITARY, POOR, NASTY, BRUTISH, AND SHORT’, 2013), who suggested that, when man is in the state of nature, there seems to be constant conflict and lesser or no security towards life (The Concept of the 'Sovereign' in Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, 2016), with a persistent fear of violence followed by death, which leads the life in solitary, and very nasty and also brutish. So, based on common power, no law can exist, hence the requirement of an authority, who will be in to governing the human interaction became crucial, which gave birth to the Social Contract Theory (Social Contract Theory). 
But, to define, justice, it is often mentioned that, it is a judgement based on law and is about law, but is it not true, that justice is very much a part of law? Again, it is often feared that, justice can only devolve in to an indeterminate subjectivity, in a Court of law, when it is in to determining the law. But, justice can in no way cause the replacement to law, since law is a conglomeration of facts. What the litigating parties before a Court of law explains to the judge is based on law, so justice cannot bring the replacement to law. Again, on the other hand, John Rawls’s  (JOHN RAWLS'S THEORY OF JUSTICE NOTES FOR THEORIES OF JUSTICE, 2008), draws a thin line of distinction between justice and also fairness, and highlights that, justice is the most plausible and also possible derivation and the natural outcome of the procedure which is involved in decision making, when that is accepted as a fair one. But, the basic argument between the relationship between law and justice, rotates around the very fact that, justice cannot be achieved without the vehicle called law, and for pursuing that goal to be achieved, the state plays the crucial role (Benson, 1990). Though there are various views and perspectives, as to what the state actually does, since the state is not in to providing a mere protection to the people, but it does something more than that, and its existence is to create the conditions of justice, within which the people live in. The tools which are involved in a state pursuing justice, is the law which creates those obligations, which develops the very fact on which the acts and the omissions of every individuals depends upon, so that they can stay in accordance with the law and oblige compliance. On the other hand, Justice, solely rests on the conduct of the individual. As the best justified idea is that the state is in to pursuing justice, and in so doing the justice can only be pursued with the applicable laws, so the relationship which exists between the ethics to that of the justice, can only be achieved if the relationship continues with justice, ethics and also law. Immanuel Kant (Kant, 1999) while defining justice highlighted that, justice is in the requirement of every action which must be in accordance with a basic universal principle. Again, Jeremy Bentham propounded that, justice can only be consisting “of the greatest good for the greatest number” (Bentham, 1970).
As John Rawls (JOHN RAWLS'S THEORY OF JUSTICE NOTES FOR THEORIES OF JUSTICE, 2008), developed his theory of justice as the only realisation which can be achieved by making the normative choices which are so made behind the veil which depicts ignorance. So, the basic connotation formulated by the above stated eminent scholars are that each and every individual must get the benefit of equal treatment for the equal action so done by them and that must be based on the generally accepted principles. So, if this is negatively stated, it only depicts that, the concept of justice is the sole avoidance of injustice. But, if the private as well as the subjective sense of injustice, is considered to be an insufficient material then based on that the construction of the system to deliver justice is highly impossible. So, for the transformation of the personal recognition of injustice if can be argued as against the interpersonal or by the means of social justice it is in the basic requirement, that a minimum, of the process of interpretation followed by articulation is necessary as well as inevitable (Epstein, 1979). So, if the process starts at a person who is aggrieved, then that will reflect in the very statement of grievance and if formally placed within the allegations so made in a legal complaint. But to blame someone for their inactions, or for the actions they were not supposed to do is the very beginning in the process of obtaining the justice, which is quite distinct from seeking the revenge by doing something much more grave (Eisenstat, 2004). So, the process of seeking justice inculpates in to the next stage where the grievant or the aggrieved party submits the complaint to the person or someone who is having the authority to receive that. Normally, in a constitutional regime, this person to whom a complaint can be submitted is either a judge or any other appointed official, who is legally allowed and have the authority to accept that, like police. After the complaint is received, it becomes the duty of that particular person to respond accordingly to it, by following the legal procedures in furtherance to the achievement of justice, based on the legal standards so provided substantially. So, the path or rather the quest towards justice is the entailment which is in to encountering with the law and the legal system, so developed with the police, the judges, the lawyers, with each having a legal duty to perform to deliver the justice. Judgement is only the pronouncement of the judges so delivering the justice, but the actual process starts with the submission of the complaint by the aggrieved individual (Skolnick, 2011). 
This is an inevitable relationship, since under this mechanism only a justice can be satisfactory, if there is the enforcement of ethics through law only, since ethics will be describing which is the best conduct for an individual, and on the same momentum, law will be providing the obligation or the duties which applies to an individual who are in to engaging themselves in to certain conducts and then only the justice can be done by enforcing those laws. Justice can then be achieved with the help of those laws, for determining the outcome, based on the performance, to ascertain whether there was a duty to be performed, and if it is positive, then the law will be applied if there is any non- performance, which will then help in delivering the justice in way or punishment or in the form of any kind of award (Butler D., 2011). It is obvious and well accepted that law forbids the homicide, so it gives rise to a duty which is ethical for not ending one’s own life or the life of others. But, still it is argued that, any law made by the government cannot be a just on, since most of the laws was seen to contradict the basic principles of natural justice (Stanlis, 2017), the best example can be of the Apartheid law (Adila Hassim, 2007), which is solely in to devolution of rights of certain individuals based on the colour of their skin, which is a sharp contrast and a strong contradiction with the basic force of the natural justice (Stanlis, 2017). Furthermore, each and every law is made on certain backgrounds, which reflects the political aspects, the sociological substances and also the historical as well as the philosophical background of that society, on which the law prevails, so it is quite natural that, law cannot be uniformly providing justice to all, since a murderer can only be punished, and on the same footing the victim who suffered the fatal will get justice, through the punishment of that murderer (Eisenstat, 2004). 


It can thus be concluded that, the natural rights which emanated from the natural law, was applicable to all the human beings irrespective of the differences, on the other hand, a judicial decision is the evidence that the law is applied. As the existing relationship between law and justice cannot be separated due to the existence of the direct relationship between themselves, so it can be believed to be the two faces of the same coin. Often it is considered by the people that, when a law gets the properly, implemented, then it is justice. As the law is in to regulating the lives of the individuals and so it is necessary within a society, and it is aimed at limiting the free desire and also the unprocessed force and create a body of rules to be made applicable for all, along with the corresponding duties. So, the basic purpose of law is not in to making a single individual fully empowered with the excessive rights, and so, at the same time it seeks to create an equal distribution of all the things included within a particular society based on certain norms. So, law being the only means to an end, the pre- requisite becomes that, the law must be a just one and must be in accordance with the principals of natural justice (Stanlis, 2017). 


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Adila Hassim, M. H. (2007). Health and Democracy: A guide to human rig hts, health law and policy in post-apartheid South Africa. Siberlnk.
Avineri, S. (1968). The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx. Cambridge University Press.
Benson, B. L. (1990). Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State. National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Bentham, J. (1970). An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. London; New York: Athlone Press; Methuen.
Butler D., B. G. (2011). Justice and Law Enforcement. British Political Facts.
Eisenstat, S. (2004). Revenge, Justice and Law: Recognizing the Victim's Desire for Vengeance as a Justification for Punishment.
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