Law is the set of rules that governs human behavior in a society. It controls the actions and conduct of people to make sure that they act responsibly, ethically and in the best interest of the community. It also prevents conflict of interests between different individuals.
The Pure Theory of Law:
Hans Kelsen proposed the ‘pure theory of law’, which states that law does not seek to describe what must occur but instead defines certain rules that people have to abide by. He called this a ‘normative science’.
Savigny’s Definition of Law:
According to the historian Friedrich Karl von Savigny, law is not the product of direct legislation but rather is due to the silent growth of custom or the outcome of unformulated public or Professional opinion. It consists partly of social habitat and part of experience, and is superior to legislation in that it reflects the common consciousness (Volkgeist) of a society.
Legal interpretation is the process by which judges and lawyers try to match facts with the laws that apply in a dispute. It is important because it helps to clarify the meaning of statutes and other forms of legislation. Judges also use their judgments as precedents for future cases, so they often have to make careful choices about how to interpret statutes that have not been interpreted before them.
The task of legal interpretation can involve finding the correct linguistic meaning of a text or determining whether a statute is enforceable against a party. However, it can also involve finding the best way to resolve a dispute in the absence of a clear legal rule or principle.
Several types of hermeneutical techniques are used for this purpose. Two of the most common are originalism and textualism. In originalism, a judge must determine the original intent of the legislators who passed the law and follow that even if social conditions have changed since then.
Textualism imposes an even more conservative interpretation of the law, relying solely on the explicit words in a statute to find its “literal meaning”. It can be difficult for a judge to follow textualism when there are many other sources for the meaning of a given word or phrase.
Other types of hermeneutical techniques include deconstruction and reconstruction. In deconstruction, a judge considers the context of a passage to determine its meaning, while in reconstruction, a judge studies the structure of the sentence to decide what it means.
Hermeneutical techniques are most useful when the meaning of a statute is in doubt and the judge does not know what other sources exist to provide the answer. They can also be used when the judge is trying to preserve a particular piece of legislation or to ensure that it remains relevant in the future.
The rule of law:
The rule of law is the concept that everyone has rights and is protected by the government. These rights are guaranteed by a system of justice that is fair, accessible, and efficient. It is a foundation for all countries and a critical component of the functioning of any society.