From the Latin term juris prudentia, which means "the study, knowledge, or science of law" in
the United States, morebroadly associated with the philosophy of law.
Legal philosophy has many branches, with four types being the most common. The most prevalent form
of jurisprudence seeks to analyze, explain, classify and criticize entire bodies of law ranging from Law of
Contract to Law of Tort and to Constitutional Law. The purpose of this type of study is to enlighten each
field of knowledge by sharing insight that have proven to be important in advancing essential features of
the compared discipline.
The third type of jurisprudence raises fundamental questions about the law itself. These questions
seek to reveal the historical, moral, and cultural underpinnings of a particular legal concept.
The fourth and fastest growing body of jurisprudence focuses on even more abstract questions,
including. What is law? How does a trial or appellate court judge decide a case? Is a judge
similar to a mathematician or a scientist applying autonomous and determine rules and
principles? Or is a judge more like a legislator who simply decides a case in favor of the most
politically preferable outcome? Must a judge base a decision only on the written rules and
regulations that have been enacted by the government? Or may a judge also be influenced by
unwritten principles derived from the theology, moral philosophy, and historical practice?
Four schools of jurisprudence have attempted to answer these questions: formalism proposes that
law is a science: realism holds that law is just another name for politics: positivism suggest that
law must be confined to the written rules and regulations enacted or recognized by the
government: and naturalism maintains that the law must reflect eternal principles of justice and
morality that exist independent of governmental recognition. Jurisprudence or legal theory is the
theoretical study of law.
Advantages of the study of jurisprudence and legal theory
Jurisprudence study is as essential as the rest, since it is a vital part of the law as it comes with
One of the most important parts in studying law is to understand your area of specialisation. To be a
great lawyer, you must learn and understand how every aspect is put into practice. Law is not just any
course that you study just for exams.
You need to be able to put everything you learn into practice and ensure that you can apply it where
Essential in understanding law: It helps in understanding the theories and principles of law. This
includes how the law was developed and how it is expected to change in future. This is the main
reason it is also referred to as the eye of the law.
It is the body of law: Stated as the eye of the law; jurisprudence is everything you need to
understand even the smallest details about the law. For example, to understand what law is,
you have to apply jurisprudence. It can be termed as the main aspect or the body of law.
Makes law interpretation easy: Anyone who is involved in either making, applying or
interpreting law gets a view of how and what to do through jurisprudence whether articulated
From the mentioned benefits, jurisprudence is a guarantee if you wish to become a great lawyer in
future understanding jurisprudence is an essential requirement.
University of Nigeria Enugu Campus offers the study of the course jurisprudence and legal theory. This
course is taken in final year 5/5. It is a compulsory course taken with another compulsory course,
The Department of International Law and Jurisprudence is one of the three departments that make up
the Faculty of Law of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. It came into existence in September,
1960 when the University was inaugurated. Courses domiciled within the Department include Public
International Law, Conflict of Laws, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Nigerian Legal System,
Environmental Law, Medical Jurisprudence and Criminology.