Sociological Jurisprudence - Theory of Roscoe Pound

19 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2011

Date Written: July 29, 2011


During the 19th century the concept of police state began to wither away and the concept of welfare state took precedence due to rapid increase in population, social revolutions leading to social unsettlement. Analytical positivism in such matters failed to meet the demands of social stability giving way to sociological approaches of law. Sociological jurisprudence a part of sociology (the science of social order and progress) predicts and prescribes social behaviour, led to the distinction between a legal sociologist and sociological jurist. In the said context Roscoe Pound's theory of sociological jurisprudence, firstly talks of a factual study, secondly social investigations, thirdly just and reasonable solutions and lastly the achievement of the purposes of various laws. He likened the task of lawyer to that of an engineer - to build an efficient structure of society with the satisfaction of the maximum of once with the minimum of friction and waste. It speaks about balancing of conflicting interests or defactor claims wherein the interests are categorised into individual public and social. The theory gives predominance to social interests as compared to public and individual interests.

Keywords: Sociological Jurisprudence, Roscoe Pound

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Pal, Debarati, Sociological Jurisprudence - Theory of Roscoe Pound (July 29, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Debarati Pal (Contact Author)

Symbiosis Law School ( email )

SB Road, Lavale
Pune, Maharashtra 411004

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