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R. Mohammad Adrian ( 110 110 130 230 ) Firman Hamdan Habdullah ( 110 110 130 244 ) Bintoro Adhityo ( 110 110 130 ) Irlandi Irfiandri Pasaribu ( 110 110 130 )

Dosen: Miranda Risang Ayu, S.H., LL.M., Ph.D.


What is Law?
Law is a term which does not have a universally-accepted definition. The question that has received the most substantial attention from philosophers of law is What is law?. Several schools of thought have provided rival answers to this question. There have been many attempts to produce "a universally-acceptable definition of law". The question of "what is law?" has no simple answer. Sometimes the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used. It is obvious that it is impossible to define the word "law" and that it is also equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not ever be abandoned. It is also possible to take the view that there is no need to define the word "law".

Origin of the Word

The word Law is derived from the Old English word of lagu, from Old Norses word lag' it means something that laid down or fixed, of Germanic origin and related to LAYi.

Several Definitions
Although there are no such definition that accepted universally, we can still find some of the definition concerning on What Law is from Several Experts, Like In The Book The Concept of Law, H. L. A. Hart (an influential legal philosopher of the 20th century. He was Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University and the Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford) argued that law is a "system of rules"; meanwhile, John Austin (a noted British jurist and published extensively concerning the philosophy of law and jurisprudence) said law was the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction"; Ronald Dworkin (an American philosopher and scholar of constitutional law) describes law as an "interpretive concept to achieve justice and Joseph Raz (an Israeli legal, moral and political philosopher. He is one of the most prominent advocates of legal positivism) argues law is an authority to mediate people's interests. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, and as Acting Chief Justice of the United States JanuaryFebruary 1930) said "The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by the law". Thomas Aquinas (Italian Dominican friar and priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism) said that law is a rational ordering of things which concern the common good that is promulgated by whoever is charged with the care of the community. This definition has both positivist and naturalist elements. Geoffrey Robertson (human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster), stated in his book Crime against humanity that law is A system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviorii

Beside what the experts defined about what law is, we can also find the meaning of law in some dictionaries. Here it is:

The system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties. Oxford Dictionariesiii It is possible to describe law as the body of official rules and regulations, generally found in constitutions, legislation, judicial opinions, and the like, that is used to govern a society and to control the behaviour of its members, so Law is a formal mechanism of social control. Legal systems are particular ways of establishing and maintaining social order. Sixth form lawiv A body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by controlling authority. thefreedictionary.comv The whole system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, country, et cetera. Merriam-Webster Dictionaryvi A body of rules, whether proceeding from formal enactment or from custom, which a particular state or community recognizes as binding on its members or subjects. - Oxford Dictionary of the English Languagevii The principles and regulations established by a government and applicable to a people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision or any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, as by the people in its constitution. - The Random House Dictionary of the English Languageviii Rules of conduct of any organized society, however simple or small, that are enforced by threat of punishment if they are violated. Modern law has a wide sweep and regulates many branches of conduct. - Columbia Encyclopediaix The discipline and profession concerned with the customs, practices, and rules of conduct of a community that are recognized as binding by the community. Enforcement of the body of rules is through a controlling authority. Encylopedia Brittanicax

Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy and jurisprudence which studies basic questions about law and legal systems, such as "what is law?", "what are the criteria for legal validity?," "what is the relationship between law and morality?", and many other similar questions. Explaining the terms Law and Morality or "Justice". When discussing law and morality or law and justice, it is important to define the terms. From the below you will probably decide it is not possible to define what law IS, but it is possible to describe what it does and what rules apply. This is essentially a philosophical question, which probably has no answer, but some theorists have attempted to do so. Similarly, there is no agreement what morality IS, or justice IS and there are various schools of thought. We shall be looking at the writings and thoughts of philosophers and jurists (legal scholars) each named person should be considered as an authority in his field whose opinions are worthy of respect.1 Definition of Law Utilitarianism The purpose of law is to establish a welfare state in which it aims for the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. It argues that legal system should provide basic needs to achieve equality in society. Widely-known figures of this principle are Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Rudolf Von Jhering.

Definition of Law Sociological Jurisprudence Law is defined not by the sovereign authority, but by the society as it grows and expand throughout history. This principle is the main foundation of Common Law, widely used in modern countries today. Widely-known figures of this principle is Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Definition of law - Legal Positivism "A rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being by an intelligent being having power over him." Or "A body of rules fixed and enforced by a sovereign political authority." John Austin (English jurist, born 1790) Law as a system of rules, a union of primary and secondary rules. Or a Province of Jurisprudence Determined"- Professor Hart (Oxford Professor of jurisprudence, born 1907)

Definition of law - Marxist theory Marxist theories of law generally define law as a tool of oppression used by capitalists to control the proletariat. Karl Marx

Definition of law - Natural Law An embodiment of Reason, whether in the individual or the community. Plato (Greek philosopher born 427 BC) "Nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated".xi - St Thomas Aquinas (Italian philosopher born 1224)

Definition of law - Legal Realism "The prophecies of what the courts will do ... are what I mean by the law".xii - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (American judge and jurist born 1841) "What officials do about disputes".xiii Karl Nickerson Llewellyn (American legal scholar born 1893) "The sum of the influences that determine decisions in courts of justice." - Lord Browne-Wilkinson (Senior Law Lord born 1930)

Other definitions "Lawexist if it is externally guaranteed by the probability of coercion (physical or psychological) to bring about conformity or avenge violation, and is applied by a staff of people holding themselves specially ready for that purpose.". - Max Weber (German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist whose ideas influenced social theory, social research, and the entire discipline of sociology.) "Law is the formal glue that holds fundamentally disorganised societies together".xiv Thomas Hobbes (English philosopher born 1588) "Law is the cement of society and also an essential medium of change. Knowledge of law increases ones understanding of public affairs. Its study promotes accuracy of expression, facility in argument and skill in interpreting the written word, as well as some understanding of social values". - Glanville WilliamsLearning the law

Footnotes/Endnotes, Sources, Bibliography and References:

i Geoffrey Robertson, Crime against humanity. 90. iii iv

vi viii ix from: H. L. A. Hart, The Concept of Law (1961); R. A. Wormser, The Story of the Law and the Men Who Made It (rev. ed. 1962); R. David, Major Legal Systems in the World Today (tr. 1968).
vii x "Summa Theologiae (Summary of Theology)", Question 90, Art. 4 xii "The Path of the Law" in Collected Papers, 1920
xi xiii xiv

"The Bramble Bush" 1951 Leviathan (1651)