Roscoe Pound – Jurisprudence Notes

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Roscoe Pound

  • As per Pound, in primitive societies the law aimed at nothing more than keeping the peace.
  • In his opinion law’s task post 18th century merged with the aim of ‘bringing about and maintaining a maximum strength and efficiency in organised society, identifying the political organisation of society with civilisation.
  • His personal view was that law’s task is to recognise and adjust competing interests with a minimum of friction and waste.
  • He identified legal and judicial activity as a form of social engineering.
  • By ‘social engineering’ Pound meant that it was a comparison of the legal task to that of a problem-solving design engineer who tries to make the machine run more efficiently and smoothly.

Interests

  • Interests are claims that persons make of the legal system.
  • Some of these claims are already recognised by law, but there are others that are not so recognised.
  • Pound identified three kinds of interests:

o    Individual interests – relate to person, property and personal relations such as marriage.
o   Public interests relate to the dignity of the state as a juristic entity.
o   Social interests include the interest in public safety, peace and order, and public health.

  • These interests are frequently in conflict.
  • In order to resolve conflicts courts should secure as much as possible of the scheme of interests as a whole with the least friction and waste.

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