Philosophy of Law: Meaning, Nature, Functions & Classification

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According to the natural law school, where do all laws originate from?

God

Who were some of the proponents of the natural law school?

St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine of Hippo

What is one of the criticisms of the natural law school?

It ignores the moral and ethical dimensions of law

What was the 'Neighbour principle' derived from according to the natural law school?

The teaching of Jesus Christ in Luke 10: 30-37

In what ways has the natural law school influenced the law?

By shaping fundamental human rights in the Constitution of Nigeria

Why has an acceptable definition of law defied the ages?

Because of the inherent diversity in human thoughts and experience

What is the sociological term used to describe a state of lawlessness?

Anomie

What is the role of the legislative arm of government in relation to law, based on the text?

To guide and regulate the affairs and conduct of individuals and organizations

In which way does the text suggest that defining law is similar to the saying 'beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder'?

Different people perceive and understand law differently

Why does the text state that there is no authoritative and universally acceptable definition of law?

Because each variable in defining law is time tested and empirical

What is a similarity between law and convention?

Both are considered by a particular people over a particular subject matter.

What is a difference between law and convention according to the text?

Law covers people, institutions, subject matter, while convention covers only a particular place or subject matter.

What makes law superior to convention?

It has the force of law when duly passed.

What is a similarity between habits and law?

Both are practiced by people.

What makes habit and law different according to the text?

Law is practised by people, while habit has a wider coverage.

What is one of the differences between laws and conventions?

Laws have the force of law when duly passed while conventions do not.

What is the main difference between law and habits?

Law is written while habits are unwritten

What is the primary characteristic of Formal Justice according to the text?

Rigid, mechanical, and strict

In what aspect does law differ from freedom/liberty?

Law curtails liberty or qualifies freedom

What does morality refer to according to the text?

Morality refers to the individual while morality refers to a group or a commun

What characteristic does justice share with law according to the text?

Both are influenced by external factors like religion, history, values, norms, morality

What type of justice is described as liberal, flexible, and influenced by external factors?

Substantive Justice

What is the nature of law according to the text?

Law is codified or substantive

What characteristic does freedom/liberty share with law according to the text?

Both are idealistic concepts

How does law differ from justice according to the text?

Law is substantive (codified) while justice is largely subjective in nature

What does freedom mean according to the text?

The state of being unfettered (unrestricted)

Study Notes

Natural Law School

  • All laws originate from a higher power or universal principles, according to the natural law school.
  • Proponents of the natural law school include prominent thinkers such as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and John Locke.
  • One criticism of the natural law school is that it is abstract and does not provide clear guidelines for creating laws.

Influence of Natural Law School

  • The natural law school has influenced the law by shaping the concept of justice and the role of morality in law-making.
  • The 'Neighbour principle' is derived from the natural law school, which emphasizes the importance of considering the well-being of others in law-making.

Definition of Law

  • Defining law has been a challenging task throughout history, with no universally accepted definition.
  • The difficulty in defining law is similar to the saying 'beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder', implying that the definition of law varies depending on individual perspectives.
  • The legislative arm of government plays a crucial role in shaping the law, but there is no authoritative definition of law.

Law and Social Concepts

  • Anarchy is the sociological term used to describe a state of lawlessness.
  • Law is similar to convention in that both are based on social norms and expectations.
  • However, law is superior to convention because it is enforced by institutions and carries consequences for non-compliance.
  • Law is also distinct from habits, which are personal and do not have the same level of enforcement.

Characteristics of Law and Justice

  • Formal Justice is characterized by its emphasis on fairness and equality.
  • Law differs from freedom/liberty in that law is about enforcing rules, while freedom/liberty is about the absence of constraints.
  • Morality refers to the principles of right and wrong that guide human behavior.
  • Justice shares with law the characteristic of being based on moral principles.
  • Substantive Justice is described as liberal, flexible, and influenced by external factors.
  • Law is characterized by its enforceability and institutional backing, while freedom/liberty is about the ability to make choices.

Law and Justice

  • Law and justice are distinct concepts, with law focusing on the rules and regulations, and justice concerning the fairness and morality of the law.
  • Freedom/liberty is closely related to law, but it is not the same as law.

Explore the diverse perspectives on the meaning of law and its implications in the philosophy of law. Delve into the complexities of defining law and understand its varied interpretations.

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