“Business Law”-Exact Meaning

We have been studying about the oxford definition and some others given by scholars for the term business law. But to understand the crux we need to go deep down the literal meaning of the term. We need rules and regulations in order to prevent our society from chaos. A society free from loot, robbery, murder etc. Thus our ancestors had a thought of punishing people who were found guilty for any charge. And as a result gradually we discovered certain norms for different kinds of crimes and thus establishing a peaceful society. Similarly we needed some norms for the smooth running of traders business and merchants deals. Consequently leading to additional rule book for merchants.

According to Oxford dictionary the word Law means: “Rules made by authority for the proper regulation of the community or society for the correct conduct in life” .Law has a view to secure justice, peaceful living and social security.

The term ” Mercantile Law Or Business Law” may be defined as that branch of law which comprises laws concerning trade, industry and commerce.

Points to remember: 

  1. Law is always enforced by an authority.
  2. It is ever changing and growing as per the need of the time.
  3. Law  helps in smooth functioning of society, trade or commerce. because it binds people with rules and regulations.

Sources of Mercantile Law( Business Law)


  1. Lex Mercatoria :It is a Latin expression for a body of trading principles used by the merchants throughput the Europe in the medieval. It functioned as the international law of commerce.The English Mercantile Law constitutes the foundation on which the super structure of the Indian mercantile law has been built.
  2. Statutory Law: Statutory law is a written law set down by the legislature or other governing authority such as the executive branch of the government improve civil order to codify existing law, or for an individual or company to obtain special treatment. In context to India, all laws are statutory i.e when Bill is passed by the parliament and signed by the President of India, it becomes an “Act” or a “Statute”.The bulk of Indian Mercantile Law is statute law.
  3. Customs and Usage: Precedent is the accumulated principles of law derived from centuries of decisions. Judgments passed by judges in important cases are recorded and become significant source of law. When there is no legislature on a particular point which arises in changing conditions, the judges depend on their own sense of right and wrong and decide the disputes from first principles. Authoritative precedent decisions become a guide in subsequent cases of a similar nature. The dictionary of English law defines a judicial precedent as a judgement or decision of a court of law cited as an authority for deciding a similar state of fact in the same manner or on the same principle or by analogy.
  4. Judicial Decisions: Judicial decisions are usually referred to as precedents and an binding on all courts having jurisdiction lower to that of the court which gave the judgement. They are also generally followed even by those of equal jurisdiction in deciding similar points of law.Whenever an Act is silent on a point or there is ambiguity,the judged has to decide the  case according to the principles of justice, equity and good conscience.

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