This is a study of the first principles of law, as jurisprudence, as a subject, is often described. Even the first principles of law have not remained static. The principles of law which occupy a position of prime importance at one time may outlive their utility in the course of time and may be replaced by some other new and up-coming principles or there may be an amalgam of the new with the old. The present study contains all the outstanding features in which this subject is usually cast. In addition, the work carries a separate presentation of schools and theories of law with contribution from various authors and a critical examination of their merits. Some other new features have also been added. They became necessary because of a serious change in the role of law in human societies. The concept of the responsible state has brought into the field of law many strategies to hold the state in a position of responsibility towards not only its own citizens but also towards the global society. An all round study from the juristic angle of the functioning of the state became necessary. Some new principles have emerged and some existing principles have found a new application in this respect. All aspects of developments in the field of jurisprudence have been traced in the preparation of this brief study
NK Jayakumar is currently ICSSR National Fellow, after the completion of his tenure as Vice-Chancellor (2009–2012) of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. Prior to this, he was Professor, Head and Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. His main areas of teaching and research include administrative law, jurisprudence, international law and human rights. Dr Jayakumar is the founder-editor of the Kerala University Journal of Legal Studies and a member of the editorial board of the Academy Law Review since 1977.