Jurisprudence of Interests, European
Mathias W. Reimann
Jurisprudence of interests ( Interessenjurisprudenz ) is an approach by which jurists regard law as determined primarily by the struggle among political, economic, moral, and social interests in society. Accordingly, they view legal rules and decisions as reflecting the victory of certain such interests over others. Yet, the meaning of jurisprudence of interests has been neither monolithic nor uniform. To avoid misconceptions, one should distinguish, at a minimum, the broad understanding of the term from the much more particular German concept that gave the approach its name in the first place. In the more general sense, jurisprudence of interests is a broad, diversified approach to law that emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A reaction against the positivist and formalist jurisprudence that dominated legal thought in many Western countries around that time, its most important roots were in the ideas of the German jurist Rudolf von Jhering ...