Law Basics: Concept of Legal Personality

RAS Mains Law Legal Personality

The main object of the law is to regulate the relationship between the individuals in the society. The concept of legal personality is an important subject matter of the law because rights and duties cannot be there without a person.

Definitions of Legal Personality

Many jurists have defined persons in many ways.

  • According to Salmond, “A person is any being whom the law regards as capable of rights and bound by legal duties.” 
  • According to Patton- Legal personality is an artificial creation of law. It is a medium through which some such units are created in whom rights can be vested.
  • According to Kelson, legal person is a fiction, because it is not more than rights and duties.
  • According to Aanlytical School: A subject of rights and duties is called legal Person
  • According to Hegal personality is the subjective possibility of a rightful will.

Types of Persons

There are two kinds of legal persons recognized by law:

  • Natural persons:
    • Natural person means a living human being, but all human beings are not recognized as natural persons in the eye of law.
    • For example- a lunatic, an idiot, a minor is not a natural person because they cannot possess rights and duties.
  • Legal persons:
    • Legal Person may be anything which is considered by law as a legal person.
    • Legal personality is the creation of law by conferring rights and duties.
    • It is imaginary or artificial in nature.
    • The legal persons perform their functions through natural persons only.
    • There are different varieties of legal persons, viz. Corporations, Companies, Universities, President, Societies, Municipalities, Gram panchayats, etc.

The concept of legal personality is basically related to the fact of rights and duties attached to them and certain immunities and responsibilities attached to them.

Hence there is a vast difference between a human and a legal person as human is the existence given by nature whereas legal person is a fiction created by act of law.

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