Analysis Of The Various Schools Of Thought In Relation To The Meaning Of Law

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Analysis Of The Various Schools Of Thought In Relation To The Meaning Of Law


Law can be defined as the body of rule designed or formulated to guide human actions or conducts which are enforced among the members of a given society, the breach of which attract sanctions.

However, in spite of the ambiguity created in defining law and failure to reach universally acceptable definition of the term law. Therefore, it is most pertinent to examine the meaning of law from the different schools. For instance the natural school lead by Thomus Acquina, he sees law as what is fair, just, right and good. The historical school postulate, that law should be rooted in the people and reflects the common consciousness. To the sociological school, law is the pertinent norm and value in the society while the realist perceived law to be made through the medium of court. Utilitarian sees law to promote utility.

The definitions of law from the above is not all encompassing as Professors Okunniga Once posited
Nobody including the lawyer is offered, nobody including the lawyer is offering, nobody including the lawyer will be able to offer a definition of law to end all definitions

On the whole, the definition of law up till the present day is still a subject of controversy among the jurists. A precise and appropriate definition is yet to be given to the meaning of law. It is on this note that this research aimed at analyzing the definitions given by various Scholar of each school Vis-Ã-vis the meaning of law, the study is also intended to carryout divergent views among jurists, scholar on the essential needs for universally acceptable definition of law.

To this end, the research consists of five chapters the first chapter, deals with general introduction, the second chapter focuses on the nature and meaning of law chapter three, deals extensively with theories of law while chapter four concentrates on the view of law in Nigeria legal system and the last chapter contains conclusion with recommendations.

Chapter Five

General Conclusions

5.0.0: Conclusion

From all the analysis established above concerning the various schools of thought vis-à-vis meaning of law which have been dealt with. It is germane to say that this research work is not meant to postulate new theory rather to analyze the propondment of the various school of thought as well as looking into its impact in Nigerian experience.

The natural school of thought evolved owing to the state of nature where life was nasty, brutish, solitary, poor and short. This school as majorly dominated by theologist where they believe that any law that is not natural or divine is not law, which must be equally just, fair and true. This school encountered specifically the criticism of multiplicity of conscience as they are argued that natural law is formulated through human reasoning.

The positivist view law as that which is laid down by the sovereign or is agent, thus agent is either legislature or the judge. The law made by this agent takes the form of statute or case law or judicial precedent.

The proponent of the historical school on their part argued in line with what is regarded as the spirit of the people where the issue of law arises. That is, the historical event of the people of a particular society must be put into consideration.

Law is obtainable in the society is the argument of the sociological school this school argued that laws can only be found in the society. I.e. how the people of such society put into practice any set rules or regulations.

The school of thought that advocated for the greatest happiness number of people is the utilitarian school of thought. This school can also be regarded as the economic school as its propoundment borders on the utilization of the invariable resources in the society for the greatest number of people when the question of law comes to play.

The realist posited the argument in favour of what the judges or courts do. In other words this school opined that the basis of law is what is obtainable in the court as adjudicated upon by the judges.

On the whole, the argument of these schools is born out of the fact, the dynamism of the society called for change in the administrative system where each school as the case may arise had their different background and as such their propandment as pointed from the onset are all jurisprudential exercise.

It is germane to state on concluding note that notorious fact in the words of prof O.O Okunniga that

“Nobody including the lawyer has offered, nobody including the lawyer is offering nobody including the lawyer will ever be able to offer definition of law to end all definitions.”

5.1.0: Reconmendation

This research aimed at detailed treatise of the analytical study of the various school of thought Vis-a-Vis meaning of law. In carrying this research, recourse has been made to the essential needs for the analysis of the various school and the criticism of each school of thought.

Having considered this, it could be emphasized that this research work is not put in place for the purpose of propounding of new theory but to analyze the meaning of law and its impact in the Nigerian social experiences. Yet it is important to state precisely that the different schools of thought aimed at serving the same purpose which in my view is to reduce or if not total eradication of chaotic situation in the society. It is on this note that this research, would like to recommend that;

  1. There should be harmonization theory in which the different theorist would come together to see to a particular definition.
  2. The theories of these schools should be seen as a means of social engineering which can be used to better society rather than rules and regulations of a particular society.
  3. There should be constant reform on law so that it will mitigate new innovation and invention of crimes committed.
  4. There should be element of morality in any theory of law that which often put forth.
  5. There should be a forum among the jurist to come up with universal acceptable definition of law.

To this end, if these recommendations can be worked on by great scholars of law the society will be a better place in the present and nearest future.

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