Legal doctrine is the currency of law. In many ways, doctrine is law, at least when it comes from the courts. Legal opinions create the rules or norms that make up legal doctrine. But the nature and effectiveness of legal doctrine has been woefully underestimated. Scholars from the Academy of Law and political science faculties have conducted extensive research on law, but they have largely ignored the efforts of others. One of the reasons for this unfortunate separation is that neither of them actually understood the descriptive meaning of the legal doctrine. In this article, we attempt to describe the concept of jurisprudence and propose various theories about the relevance of legal doctrine in judicial decision-making and how these theories can be tested empirically. Judge | Case law | Law and | Policy Law and society| Public Law and Legal Theory Online published by Cambridge University Press: 02 February 2017.