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Classification of Law

 Classification of Law

According to Blackstone, “Law in its most general and comprehensive sense signified a rule of action and is applied indiscriminately to all kind of action whether animate, rational, irrational. Thus we say the laws of motion, of gravitation, of optics or mechanics as well as the laws of nature and of nations.”

Before understanding the classification of law we need to understand the Definition of law. The explanation differs from person to person and it may be seen from the different angle, and one angle does not take the view of the other. For a lawyer, the parameter of law is largely about cases. On the other hand, it is all about justice to be done in good conscience. Law is defined by different jurists on basis of its ‘nature’, ‘sources’ and in term of effect in the society and unless all the elements are taken into consideration it will not make a perfect definition of law. 

Importance of Classification of Law

For a proper understanding of the law, it is necessary to classify it. Classification of is important because it becomes easy to understand the meaning, nature, and purpose of the law if it is classified properly. We can easily understand the subjects of that law and its enforcement measures. It also helps in getting the logical structure of the legal order. Further, it provides a systematic arrangement of rules. Classification of law also helps in the codification of law. It also tells the interrelation between different laws. And lastly, it is of a great help to the lawyers.

Classification is an age-old concept

Classification of law is not a new process, it has been done since early Roman time. There was a classification of civil and criminal law and both had a different procedure. Further, even in Hindu law, there was a classification of law. Even as the society started to develop there was a classification of International law and Municipal Law.

Limitations of classification of Law

  1. Any classification will have relative Value and not the universal value. As it is known that law changes from time to time and from place to place. The old law may be in some classification category but when the new law came in place of it might go in some other category.

  2. Classification keeping in mind a particular community or group may not be applicable to all, it may fall into one category in one country and it may fall into another category in another country.

  3. The distinction between different law is not very clear such as Torts, Contracts, Quasi Contracts.

Municipal Law

Municipal Law is Law of that nation, It is the domestic law that governs the subject of the state. It is opposite of international law. It includes state, provincial, territorial, regional, or local law of a state. The force of the state is the sanction behind the law. It is generally territorial in nature as it is applied only in the territory of the country. The municipal law can further be divided into Public law and Private Law.

Public Law

The state activities are largely regulated by the public law. It determines and regulates the organization and functioning of the state and determines the relation of state with its subjects. The term ‘Public’ implies either state, or sovereign part of it or a body, or individual holding a delegated authority under the state.

Public Law can further be divided into

Constitutional Law:

the law which determines the nature of the state and structure of the government. It is above and superior to the ordinary law of the land. It describes the composition and function of the 3 organs of the state. Ordinary law derives its value from the constitutional law.

Administrative Law:

it deals with function, power, and structure of the organs of administrative law. Further, It also deals with the exercise of the political power of the organs of the state within the limit of the constitution. It seeks to guarantee the citizen protection against arbitrary action by the authorities. It seeks to prevent a miscarriage of justice.


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