Sociological jurisprudence began to take shape at the end of the XIX century., When sociology became an independent branch of knowledge. Sociological theory of law evolved in two ways: on the one hand, through the formation of legal concepts within the framework of general sociology, and the other - by disseminating knowledge of the methods of sociological jurisprudence.
To the founders of sociological jurisprudence include Richard von Iering (Germany), L.Djugi and Eugene F. (France), E. Ehrlich (Austria-Hungary), S. Muromtsev (Russia).
The characteristic thesis of all options sociological trend - the freedom of judicial discretion. "Under the law, - says the American judge and jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935 gg.) - We mean not that other, as anticipation of what will actually make the court."
The representatives of the school of sociology opposed to positive law as "dead", "the book" Law of the right to "live", "right in the action."
Significant role in the development of sociological trend has played Roscoe Pound (1870-1964 gg.) - American lawyer, who for many years was the dean of Harvard Law School. He argued that the law - is primarily factual and legal order of the court process.
Supporters of the sociological trend criticized formal dogmatic, normative approach to law, which has been called "the jurisprudence of concepts."
Sociological jurisprudence as well as the doctrine of natural law is beyond the scope of the law (written law), but not in the direction of natural rights and freedoms, and in the carrying out of law enforcement. Although negative attitudes towards positivism these areas together.
The good thing about this theory is its focus on the account of real processes in the legal regulation of their learning on the basis of sociological methods. In the same vein, there is, for example, the question of the effectiveness of law, which in its time has received considerable attention in the Soviet jurisprudence.
The Russian legal doctrine at the present time in many aspects of theoretical studies focused on the regulatory approach to sociological methods of knowledge of the legal system.
The issue of legal practice, the development of the concept of the legal system, the inclusion of the sociology of law (along with the philosophy of law and legal theory, specifically) as part of the general theory of law - all this is in line with the sociological trend.
The downside, weakness sociological trend is that there is a danger of erosion of the concept of law, the loss of the right to its borders, and as a result - there are more opportunities for violations of the law, arbitrary judicial and administrative