What Happened When?

Welcome to the Substantive Forum

The seven schools of Traditional Jurisprudence are heavily dependent upon their predecessors. Some, such as Legal Positivism, set themselves against those schools which came before; others incorporate concepts from earlier schools, blending them into a new and unique vision. This forum provides extensive reviews of each school, although the historical context is largely omitted. Should you be interested in the events of history which surrounded the formation of these schools, please check out the Timeline.

What is Jurisprudence? A history, explanation and more

The seven schools (and a brief description of each):

Natural Law-The law mirrors a divine source, reflecting a higher moral purpose or order. Immoral laws cannot be obeyed or enforced.

Positive Law-The law is supported by an authority figure, the lawgiver. Even "bad law" can be enforced if the lawgiver so wishes.

Utilitarianism-The law should be crafted so as to provide the greatest good for the greatest amount of society.

Cultural/Historical Jurisprudence-The law must be considered in the light of the culture and history which created it. Even "bad law" came from somewhere.

Sociological Jurisprudence-The social reality of the time must be consulted when law is reviewed. Law reflects the prevailing social order of the time, and must evolve with society.

Legal Realism-The life of the law is experience, not logic. Judges create law through ruling and precedent.

Process Theory-The law is created by a process. Therefore, if the process is rational and logical, the law will be also.

Additional Resources- Includes an overview of Lon Fuller's Legal Naturalism, and additional Web references

This page last updated 30 April 2002 by John Stradling.

Copyright 2002 John Stradling.