Source gives us an understanding of the objective behind the formation of everything. Sources of law are the origins of rules of human conduct that came into existence in different ways. Though there are various charges and counter-charges regarding the sources of law, it is obvious that in almost all societies, the law has been acquired from similar sources. Here, we shall discuss juristic writings in detail.
Sources of Law – Juristic Writings
Let us discuss the sources of law here. The sources of laws are as follows:
- Formal sources.
- Informal sources or material sources.
1. Formal sources
The sources from which the law derives its source and validity are formal sources of law. These associates to the shape or system that causes the rules applicable formally. Here, we accept the rules as valid and binding in the legal system. Example: The manifested will of statutes and judicial decision. Hence, the formal sources of law include:
a. Will of the state: Sometimes for the benefits of the people the state makes its own laws on the subjects which are provided in the state list under the 7th Schedule, with due process of law manifested in our constitution.
b. Will of the people: Laws are also made by the will of the people sometimes on facing certain problems though it has to be considered acknowledgeable by the state. Then the state makes it in the form of law.
c. Judicial decision of the court: In this case sometimes judgments of some lordships with immense value are treated and transferred into a law.
2. Informal or material sources
From material sources, law derives not its validity but the matter of which it is composed of. It is the place from where we take the material of law.
Material sources include:
a. Legal Sources: Legal sources of law are the gates through which new principles find their acceptance in law. Legal sources include:
i. Legislations: Legislation is derived from the Latin word “legis” meaning “law” and “latus” meaning “to make” or “set”. Hence legislation means “making of law”. There are two types of legislation, namely, Supreme Legislation and Subordinate Legislation.
ii. Judicial Precedence: It is the doctrine known by the Latin term “stare decisis” meaning “to stand by what has been decided”. This makes certain consistency in the law. There are three key features of judicial precedence:
- Ratio decidendi, which means being able to decide the reason for a decision made in an earlier case.
- Understanding how the hierarchy of the court controls the functioning of the system.
- A good system of law reporting.
iii. Treaties: Treaty is an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters between two or more countries formally approved and signed by the leaders.
iv. Customs: It can be described as the cultural idea that defines the regular pattern or behavior, which is considered a characteristic of the judgment of right and wrong as the idea of justice and public utilities.
b. Historical Sources: Historical Sources of Law helps us to know the historical significance and the need for such development of law. It is the religious belief, local customs, opinion of jurists and historical development. There are two types of historical sources of law, namely, Religion and Morality.
Solved Example on Juristic Writings
What is supreme legislation and subordinate legislation?
Supreme legislation is derived directly from the supreme power in a state. Thus, any other legislative authority cannot repeal, annul, or control supreme legislation. Whereas subordinate legislation is the legislation which has been made by an authority who is subordinate to the legislature.