Modern society wants new legal norms, says Katju

Posted By: Pti
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Thiruvananthapuram, March 4: Modern jurisprudence is undergoing a crisis as it had exhausted the possibility of further development despite creating a host of schools and theories, Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju said here today.

A new theory in jurisprudence which is at pace with social development ushered in by advancement of technology is required in the new era, Katju said, while delivering a lecture on 'ancient and modern jurisprudence' at the Law Academy here.

"Since each major technical advance in modern industrial society brings about a change in social relations, it calls for new legal norms, which is not possible by slow customary growth. Hence legislation has become the most important source of law in modern society," he said.

Sociological jurisprudence, that became an important trend in the 20th century by seeking to study the legal system not in isolation, but as part of the social reality, considerably broadened the scope of jurisprudence. The basic feature of modern society was its remarkable instability due to the revolutionary nature of modern industry.

"By continuously changing techniques of production with new scientific inventions and discoveries, modern industry is constantly causing major changes in social relations and law," Katju said.

Though legislation is the source of law in modern society, there were often gaps in the statutory law which always did not keep pace with social development and advancement in technology. "This required judge-made laws to fill in these gaps in certain circumstances," he added.

While ancient Indian jurisprudence could be said to belong to the historical school of jurisprudence, modern jurisprudence is a combination of positivism, sociological jurisprudence and natural law, Katju said.


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