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What is the purpose of law?

According to Rudolf Von Jhering, the birth of law, like that of men, has been uniformly attended by the violent throes of childbirth. Purpose is the creator of the entire law. The real force which moves the human will is the interest. Law is not the only means to control the social organism. It alone cannot protect all other social purposes. Human conduct is determined not by a because, but by a or by a purpose to be effected, the for is as indispensable for the will as is the because for the stone. The stone cannot move without a purpose.


According to Hobbes, the law has been brought into the world for nothing else but to limit natural liberty of particular men in such a manner as they might hurt, but assist one another and join together against a common enemy.

While explaining the purpose of law, observation of Jeremy Taylor, that, a herd of wolves is quieter and more at than so many men, unless they all had one reason in them, or have one power over them.

Human beings are selfish, wicked, degenerate, unscrupulous and opportunists. Man is not social but anti-social and always tries to promote his own interests. For the promotion of his interest he can resort to all types of methods. Every individual is interested in keeping what he possesses and acquiring more. This inevitably leads to struggle and conditions of anarchy. Men are also wicked because, they are prepared to sacrifice the collective interests to promote their own interests. Therefore, according to Machiavelli, to control them, law is absolute necessary. According to him that is the purpose of law.

In High Court of Judicature at Bombay v. Shirish Kumar Rangrao Patil, the Supreme Court observed that, “law is a means to an end and justice is that end. But in actuality, law and justice are distant neighbours; sometimes even strangely hostile. If law shoots down justice, the people shoot down the law and lawlessness paralyses development disrupts order and retards progress.

Thus quoting Salmond, we can conclude that, the law is without doubt a remedy for great evils, yet it brings with it evils of its own

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