QST : Examine the Social relevance of legal research ? What type of research do you advocate to bring about law reforms ?
Law, as mentioned earlier, does not operate in a vacuum. It operates in a complex ‘social setting’. It reflects social attitudes and behavior. It also seeks to mould and control social attitudes and behavior of people to ensure that they flow the expected channel. However, social values and attitudes, existing as well as expected, keep on changing. It makes the law to be dynamic and cope with the changing social ethos. Further, ongoing scientific and technological developments add to these complexities by creating new complex human relationship that needs law to regulate. In such situations, legal research, inter alia, becomes necessary: (i) for ascertainment of law on a given topic or subject, (ii) to highlight ambiguities and inbuilt weaknesses of law, (iii) to critically examine legal provisions, principles or doctrines with a view to see consistency, coherence and stability of law and its underlying policy, (iv) to undertake social audit of law with a view to highlighting its pre-legislative ‘forces’ and post-legislative ‘impacts’, and (v) to make suggestions for improvements in, and development of, law. 2.6.1 Ascertainment of law
It is needless to mention that laws can never be perfect and final in a dynamic society. ‘If our numerous laws’, a scholar observed, ‘were perfect, if social control were automatic, legal scholarship, like the State of the Marxists, could be left to wither away’. ‘But our laws’, according to him, ‘are not perfect and final, and cannot be so in a dynamic society: they are not always even intelligible, and if intelligible, not always intelligently made.’31 Therefore, a systematic effort is required to ascertain or find law on a given subject/topic. He requires not only to locate and to look into relevant Act(s) of Parliament but also to locate relevant secondary legislative instruments in the form of...
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