Essentials of a valid custom: In the earlier ages the customs were the most important, and in some times/cases, the entire source of law. In every legal system, the customer is considered a basic source of law or the main source for the development of law, but in modern and stabled societies they are more rationalized and are certain and definite. Custom, as a source of law, involves the study of a variety of its aspects: its origin, and nature, its importance, reasons for its recognition, its classification, and the necessity of a valid custom.

Requisites of a Valid Custom

We explain all requirements that must be full for a valid custom. Customs must be reasonable, not contradictory with the state rules and regulations, must be certain, must be according to public benefit, it must be consistent, and the general public must accept. All the essentials of valid custom are given below in detail and also shown below in the picture.


A custom must be according to basic morality, the prevailing understanding of justice, health, and best for public policy. If it is not reasonable in practice or origin, it cannot be considered a valid custom. For example, Sati was an accepted custom once, but with the modern moral understanding, it is not reasonable therefore it cannot be considered a custom today.

However it does not mean that every customer must be perfect in its morality or ethical concerns, or contain eternal wisdom, it just needs to be relevant to contemporary times, useful, and capable of being legislated on.

Conformity with Statute Law

A custom that is in contravention of the existing law of the land is not accepted as a valid custom. Any practice, however widespread and accepted if found in violation of any statute of a said territory cannot be considered a valid custom. Here it must be clear that in many areas of the world, there are several customs that are not valid but a specifically adopted yet now.


A custom must be clear and unambiguous as to what the custom is and how it is practiced. A custom can not acceptable to a court of law when it is uncertain or indefinite. It needs to be objective and absolute in theory and in action.


A custom must be consistent with the general principles of Law that a state exists. These principles form the basis of ideas like fairness and liberty, and every customer must be in consonance with these.


It is necessary requirement for the custom that it should follow from time immemorial. The practice must be so interrelated in society. Practises cannot be custom until they become firmly established in society or fully accepted in society.


The customs do not come in conflict with other established customs it's also a very important requirement of a valid custom. All valid customs should maintain consistency among the other customs. Therefore, it is said that a customer cannot be established in opposition to other customs.

Must be peaceful in its practice

Any custom must be peaceful and its practice should always be in the bitterness of society. If a practice of any society is against the peace of any other society or general public it can not be custom.

Must not be opposed to Public Policy

A custom must not be opposed the public policy because valid customs always protect individuals and society.

Must be General or Universal

According to the definition of Carter, “Custom is effectual only when it is universal or nearly so. In the absence of unanimity of opinion, custom becomes powerless, or rather does not exist.” 

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