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Roscoe Pound

Roscoe Pound was one of the outstanding sociological jurists in America. Some of his works are Spirit of the Common Law (1921),An introduction to the philosophy of law (1922),Interpretations of legal history (1923),Law and Morals (1926),The formative era of American law -its growth,procedure and significance (1942),Social control through law (1942) and the Task of Law (1944).Pound pointed out that law is more than a set of abstract norms or a legal order. It is a process of balancing conflicting interests and means of securing satisfaction of maximum of wants with minimum of friction. To Pound, sociological jurisprudence should ensure that the making, interpretation and application of laws take account of social facts. With a view to achieve above ends Pound says that certain things be done or a programme of action which is the factual study of the social effects of legal administration, social investigation and preliminaries to legislation constant study of the means for making laws more effective which involves the study of judicial method, a sociological study of legal history; allowance for the possibility of a just and reasonable solution of individual cases; a ministry of justice in English speaking countries and the achievement of the purposes of the various laws. To Pound, law is social engineering and that body of knowledge and experience with the help of which a greater part of social engineering is carried out. It is more than collection of norms. It includes rules of conduct principles, concepts and norms. It also includes opinion, methods of professional views, professional rules of art by which rules of conduct and decision are executed, developed and made effective. Social engineering means conciliation of conflicting interests in the society. It involves the balancing of competing interests. It is one of the chief functions of the law to adjust and conciliate various conflicting interests, individual as well as social. For this Pound has formulated and classified social interests. He regards law as a species of social engineering whose function it is to maximize the fulfillment of the interests of the community and its members and to promote the smooth running of the machinery of the society.

Pound believes that the end of the law should be to satisfy maximum of wants with a minimum of friction and waste. The assumption is that the law should satisfy as many social interests as possible and that the law must be developed to meet changing social values. The aim of social engineering is to build as efficient structure of society as possible which requires to repeat again the satisfaction of the maximum of wants with the minimum of friction and waste. Another feature of Pound's thinking is the study of the impact of law on society. Social determination of law finds a second place in order of significance. In Pound's legal philosophy creative role of judiciary is in forefront, conceptual ideology has little space. For Pound interest is the main subject matter of law and there are ways and means devised for securing the interest through law. He defines interest as a claim, want, and a demand of a human being or group of human beings that the human being or group of human beings seeks to satisfy and of which social engineering in civilized society must therefore take account. Pound classifies legally protected interests in three main categories of public interests, social interests and private interests. Public interests are interest of the state, a juristic person and interests of the state as guardians of social interests. Of the individual interests Pound talks about three interests of personality, interest of domestic relations and interests of substance. Pound classified the social interests requiring recognition and protection by the legal order and which in part overlap with the individual.