LESSON 1NATURE AND SOURCES OF LAW AND ITS ADMINSTRATION
The term “law” has no assigned meaning. It is used in a variety of senses. Though different writershave attempted to explain the term, no generally acceptable explanation has been given. Differentwriters explain the term law from different points of view. The study of law is referred to as
jurisprudence or legal philosophy.
According to Hart Law is a coercive instrument for regulating social behaviour. Law has also beendefined as a command backed by sanctions. These two explanations of the term law presuppose theexistence of a sovereign, which prescribes or formulates the commands and enforces sanctions, which isnot necessarily the cas
.According to Salmond, law consists of a body of principles recognised and applied by the state in theadministration of justice. Law has also been defined as a collection of binding rules of human conduct prescribed by human beings for obedience of human beings. Inevitably, therefore law implies rules or principles enforced by courts of law. Rules of law are binding hence differ from other rules or regulations. Rules of law are certain.In summary therefore, law is an aggregate of conglomeration of rules enforced by courts of law at a giventime.Rules of law originate from acts of parliament, customary and religious practises of the people, they mayalso be borrowed from other countries.
Law and Morality
Morality consists of prescriptions of the society and is not enforceable, however, rules of law areenforceable. Wrongs in society are contraventions of either law or morality or both.However, law incorporates a significant proportion of morality and to that extent morality is enforceable.However, such rules/contraventions are contraventions of law for example murder, rape theft by servantor agent.
Purposes or Functions of Law
(i)Rules of law facilitate administration of justice. It is an instrument used by human beings to achieve justice.(ii)Law assists in the maintenance of peace and order. Law promotes peaceful co-existence, that is, prevents anarchy.