Analytical School Jurisprudence-The Characteristics

Updated November 10, 2022

Analytical school jurisprudence is a philosophical approach to law that draws on the resources of modern analytical philosophy in order to understand its nature. Since the boundaries of analytical philosophy are somewhat obscure, it is difficult to say how far it extends.

Analytical schools came into prominence in the 19th century. In 1832, John Austin, after a course of lectures at London University, published his lectures in the book “The province of Jurisprudence determined” and what he determined came out with great vigor of analysis. This brought great popularity to John Austin and the analytical school jurisprudence became quite prominent.

Chief Exponents of the Analytical School Jurisprudence

Analytical school of jurisprudence has been nurtured and advocated by some the great legal legendary. Names include likes of following:

(A). Bentham
(B). Austin
(C). Sir William Markby
(D). Sheldon Amos

(E). Holland
(F). Salmond
(G). Professor HLA Hart

Characteristics of Analytical School of Jurisprudence

  • This school studies law in relation to the state. It considers that law originates from the state and is treated as an imperative or command.
  • The school considers law in its present form, as it exists today. It is not concerned with the evolution of law. It has nothing to do with what it was and ought to be.
  • Due to different causes, Analytical school is known by different names like Austinian school as its approach has been developed by Austin, positive school as its exponents are concerned with the present form of law not as it was and as it ought to be, Imperative school as it treats law as a command by a sovereign.
  • Analytical school favors codification of law which means the systematic arrangement of statutes, the body of law to avoid inconsistency and overlapping.
  • It Considers law as an objective, not morals, it means law should be an interpretation not based on any personal feeling or emotions.

Why Is It Named So?

The purpose of analytical jurisprudence is to analyze on the basis of the present form of law, not on the basis of its historical origin or development. The positive school had a casual towards the developed legal system. So, it proceeded logically to analyze its basic concepts and to classify them to bring out their relations to one another. And, its single-mindedness nature on a systematic analysis of the legal concepts has given this school the name of the analytical school of jurisprudence.

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The School in Conclusion

According to John Austin, one of the prominent jurists of this school, the law is concerned with law as it is and not as it ought to be, therefore it is also known as a positive school. Since Austin is the originator of the analytical school, it is also known as the Austinian School of jurisprudence. The main aspect of this school is “Relationship of Law with the State” and the main exponents are Jeremy Bentham, John Austin, etc.

Jurists of this school consider that laws are rules laid down to differentiate the wrong and right. These guidelines are laid down for common people and by those who are politically superior. In simple words, the law is the command by the sovereign, backed by sanction and something that is not a command is not a law.

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