Classification of Law in Jurisprudence

International Law and Municipal Law

Law maybbe broadly divided into two classes: international law and municipal law. Whatever the objections raised against the claim of international law to be called international law, it is now recognised that international law is not only law but also a very important branch of law.

International law is divided into two classes: public international law and private international law. public international law is that body of rules which governs the conduct and relations of the States with each other. by private international law we mean those rules and principles according to which cases having foreign element are decided. if a contract is made between an Indian and a Pakistani which is to be performed in Sri Lanka, the rules and principles on which the rights and liabilities of the parties depend are to be determined by private international law. Critics point out that the term private international law is not correct. The adjective “international” is wrongly given to it as it does not possess any characteristics of international law. Private international law applies to individuals and not to States. Moreover, the rules and principles of private international law vary from State to State and there is no uniformity. Private international law is enforced by municipal courts which apply municipal law and not international law. In order to avoid controversy, it is suggested that private international law be called Conflict of Laws and should be treated as a branch of municipal private law.

Municipal Law

Municipal law is the law applied within a State. It can be divide into two classes: public law and private law. Public law determines and regulates the organisation and functioning of the State and determines the relation of the State with its subjects.

Public law is divided ito three classes: constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law. Constitutional law determines the nature of the State and the structure of the government. It is superior to the ordinary law of the land. Constitutional law is written in India and the Unites States but it is unwritten in England. The modern tendency is to have written constitutons.

Administrative law deals with the structure, powers and functions of the organisation of administration, the limits of their powers, the methods and procedures followed by them and the methods by which their powers are controlled including the legal remedies available to persons whose rights have been infringed.

Criminal law defines offences and prescribes punishments for them. It not only orevent crimes but also punishes the offenders. Criminal law is necessary for the maintenance of law and order and peace within State. In criminal cases, it is the State which initiates proceedings against the wrongdoers. The State is always a party in criminal cases.

Private law regulates and governs the relations of citizens with one another. The parties are private individuals and the State decides the disputes among the people. There is great difficulty in classifying private law. A general classifiactionof private law is the law of persons, the law of property, the law of obligations, the conflict of laws, contaracts, quasi-contracts and tort.

Critics point out many defects in the above classification o laws. Many of the classes of laws do not exist in many legal systems of the world. Those branches f law which have recently been developed cannot be put under any classification. The result is that the classification given abone is neither universal nor exhaustive. Many jurists have attempted classifications on different principles. New branches of law are growing and developing rapidly in different parts of the world and provision has to be made for them in any classification of laws. Industrial law and commercial law are such subjects.

1 reply