LEGAL RESEARCH & LAW REFORM

This Article is written by Varnika Verma student of  Chanakya Law College, Kumaun University, Uttarakhand.

Legal Research:

Legal innovation is known as Legal Research which is of great significance to study. There is no universal definition of Legal Research. Many Researchers’, law experts and Jurists have defined the term at regular intervals. So it can be said that legal research is a branch of knowledge to do transaction with theories and legal institution. Under legal research, systematic research is done of the social, political law.

In Macdowell & Co. Ltd v. Commercial Tax Officer Jurist Chinnappa Reddy did legal Research in his first decision regarding tax discourse. It is known as legal research method.

Law is deeply related to person and society. There are sums which are also solved by legal research method. Knowledge of Legal Research can be gained by the detailed study of the following subjects:

  1. Legal problems.
  2. Legal institutions in society.
  3. Legal theory.
  4. Legal philosophy.
  5. Legal history.
  6. Comparative study of law.
  7. Systematic study of international and municipal law.

After analysing the abovementioned studies under the legal research method, some sturdy cessations and special knowledge have been acquired.

  • Objects of Legal Research:
  1. Each country has large number of laws. In other words, it is forest of laws. Ironically, these laws are for decades, either useful or not, some laws become invalid and inoperative but still exists in the society and certain things can also be found through legal research-
  2. How many laws are in existence in country state?
  3. How many of them has lapsed or become useless?
  4. What law should be in force?
  5. Which law should be repealed?
  6. Which law needs amendment or changes?
  7. Which new law should made in present situation etc?
  8. It is necessary to make new laws or amendments in the existing laws according to circumstances. Cyber law, patent law, corporate law, environmental law, international property law, all these are laws which came into force as per the situation demands.
  9. There are errors in law due to which people are deprived from their rights but these errors can be removed through legal research.
  10. Legal research makes the laws useful and relevant. All the legal problems are solved by the legal research.

There are some more objects of legal research:

  1. Finding new facts.
  2. Examination and verification of old facts.
  3. Analysis of result of new laws.
  4. Development of new legal research ventures.
  5. Development of new legal concepts.
  6. Evaluation of law in historical perspective.
  7. Clear the nature & field of law.
  8. Critical analysis of law.
  9. Test the concept of storage of legal facts in any specific area.
  • Objects of Legal Research:

According to Green- ‘Objectivity is the inclination and capability to examine evidence dispassionately’.

In other words, objectivity means the conclusion arrived at as the result of inquiry and investigations are independent.

  • What qualities are expected in a good Legal Researcher?

The position of a legal researcher is different from a law student. Doing a legal research is not an easy task. Many qualities are expected in a legal researcher, it is said that a “legal researcher is a man of science”.

According to Sir Michael Foster- A true researcher should have the following qualities:

  1. Legal researcher must have attitude of research, he must have ability to find the truth and art of communication.
  2. Legal researchers’ mind must be active and creative. He must have ability of quick grasping of any problem.
  • He is expected to have extreme moral courage. He must have ability to accept the failure also.
  1. Legal researcher should reach to the conclusion with due patience until the process of collection of data is done. He must not provide final touch to his research.

Carle Pierson is also of this view that a legal researcher includes all facts, conclusion and exploration in his research.

  • Basic Qualities of a Researcher:
  • Scientific Attitude- A person should have the determination and ability to get at the naked facts. Scientific attitude is associated with an ardent curiosity, proliferating imagination and love of experimental inquiry.
  • Imagination and insight- A researcher must get hold of high degree of imaginative power. He should be able to grasp and visualize intangible aspects of society.
  • Patience- legal researcher must have intense patience. Even after getting many times failure. They are expected to keep patients without patience no researcher can acquire his aim.
  • Quick grasping power- a researcher must have quick grasping power of things on time. It can be said that he is expected to have command over the things or subject it is a quality of good researcher to understand and grads anything on time.
  • Ability of clarity- it is necessary for researcher to have ability of clear every fact, thought or new concept, because the main object of any researcher is to invent and clear or specify new facts.
    • Specific Qualities of Researcher:
  1. Special command over the subject.
  2. Knowledge of the techniques of research.
  • Personal interest in study.
  1. Wide public contact, i.e. specially known and famous among informers.
  2. Fair thinking, i.e. not affiliated by partiality Biasness.

A good researcher is required to have such qualities embodied in him. No other person can personify the work of legal researcher.

Law Reform

Law reform or law commission is the procedure to examine existing laws, and recommending and executing changes in the legal system, with the aim to intensify justice.

  • Object of First Law Commission:

To scrutinize the central acts of general solicitation and importance and put forward the line on which they should be amended, revised, consolidated or otherwise brought up-to-date.

The main object of first law commission-

  1. Simplification of general acts and special procedural acts.
  2. If any act is irrelevant to constitution than make sure about it and do necessary amendments.
  • Correction in the acts which are irrelevant to the decisions of high court and suspected acts.
  1. Suggestion of Homogeneity in acts.
  2. Consolidate similar kind of acts.
  3. Where necessary, suggestion to close the acts according to the directing elements of rules of the states.
    • Second law Commission:

Second Law Commission was assigned to do some more work other than this-

  1. Examine the existing law and suggestion of changes and amendments according to directing elements of policy of state.
  2. Suggestion for a general policy for the review of acts.
  3. Suggestion for new acts for the execution of directing elements of policy of state.
  4. Examine the working of the constitution, and suggestions to make if favourable for various judicial decisions.

11th law commission was also delegated these work. In 1984, 96th report, suggestions were given to repeal many central acts because they become useless with time, in this report it is said that-

Every legislature is expected to undertake what may be called the periodical spring cleaning of the corpus of its status law, in order that dead wood may be removed and the citizen may be spared the convenience of taking notice of laws which have ceased to bear any relevance to current conditions.

In this regard, Lord Chancellor Westbury said that- “The statue book should be revised and expurgated weeding away all those enactments that are no longer in force and arranging and alphabetizing what is left under bona fide heads, bringing the disseminating statues together, getting rid of Jarring and discordant provisions and thus getting a harmonious whole instead of chaos of in consistent and contradictory enactments.”

  • Major Reforms:

Time to time examine and review is done by law commission, and suggestions of Reform are given, like-

  1. A new act was made in 1963 on the place of specific, Relief act 1877.
  2. At the place of criminal procedure code, 1898, a new code was made in 1973.
  3. By marriage law (amendment) act, 1976, Major amendments were done in Hindu marriage act and in special marriage act.

Law commission had an important place in the field of reforms in Rajasthan also; in 1992 a law commission was established, in the Head of Jurist Nayaye Murti Vinod Shankar Dave, Judge of High Court. Many important reports were submitted to the government by this commission in its short work duration. The writer of this work was the secretary or wise secretary of this commission such as in India, work of reforms of law is running before the time of independence.

Conclusion:

Legal research is a well ordered understanding of the law with a view of its evolution. The purpose of legal research is very important to the people and society because law acts within the society and they both had an impact on each other. Every sort of research method had its self-worth. However, while undertaking a research, a researcher might face some hurdles but they can be excluded by proper planning of the research process.

Research should play an important and integral role in contemporary law reform, even if there are certain barriers and challenges in its process. It is anticipated that significant work is to be done in designing apparatus and processes to enable and support empirical research and academic engagement with law reform.

References:

  1. Macdowell & Co. Ltd v. Commercial Tax Officer 1985 SCR (3) 791.
  2. Legal Research, https://indianjudiciarynotes.com/notes/legal-research-methodology/legal-research-notes/.
  3. Aleem Akhtar, Problems of objectivity in Social Research, Study Resource, (Dec. 23, 2020, 12:05 AM), https://studyres.com/doc/6767991/problems-of-objectivity-in-social-research.
  4. Moodle, https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss:php?d=389398
  5. Your Article Library, https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/management/information-system/top-17-characteristics-of-a-successful-mis/70211
  6. Law Commission of India, https://www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/main.htm
  7. Law Commission of India, https://www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report248
  8. Jstor, https://www.org/stable/1323813?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents