History[ edit ] A legalist Guan Zhong — BC declared that all persons under the jurisdiction of the ruler are equal before the law. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if to social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way. Nominally, all citizens except the emperor were equal under Roman law in the imperial period. However, this principle was not implemented in most of the world and, even in Europe, the rise of aristocracies and nobility created unequal legal systems that lasted into the modern era.
One Ideal among Others The Rule of Law is one ideal in an array of values that dominates liberal political morality: The plurality of these values seems to indicate that there are multiple ways in which social and political systems can be evaluated, and these do not necessarily fit tidily together.
Some legal philosophers e. They confine the focus of the Rule of Law to formal and procedural aspects of governmental institutions, without regard to the content of the policies they implement. But the point is controversial. As we shall see, some substantive accounts have been developed, which amount in effect to the integration of the Rule of Law with some of these other ideals.
The Contestedness of the Rule of Law The most important demand of the Rule of Law is that people in positions of authority should exercise their power within a constraining framework of well-established public norms rather than in an arbitrary, ad hoc, or purely discretionary manner on the basis of their own preferences or ideology.
It insists that the government should operate within a framework of law in everything it does, and that it should be accountable through law when there is a suggestion of unauthorized action by those in power. But the Rule of Law is not just about government. It requires also that citizens should respect and comply with legal norms, even when they disagree with them.
The requirement of access is particularly important, in two senses. First, law should be epistemically accessible: Secondly, legal institutions and their procedures should be available to ordinary people to uphold their rights, settle their disputes, and protect them against abuses of public and private power.
All of this in turn requires the independence of the judiciary, the accountability of government officials, the transparency of public business, and the integrity of legal procedures. Beyond these generalities, it is controversial what the Rule of Law requires.
This is partly because the Rule of Law is a working political idea, as much the property of ordinary citizens, lawyers, activists and politicians as of the jurists and philosophers who study it. The features that ordinary people call attention to are not necessarily the features that legal philosophers have emphasized in their academic conceptions.
Legal philosophers tend to emphasize formal elements of the Rule of Law such as rule by general norms rather than particular decrees ; rule by norms laid down in advance rather than by retrospective enactments ; rule by norms that are made public not hidden away in the closets of the administration ; and rule by clear and determinate legal norms norms whose meaning is not so vague or contestable as to leave those who are subject to them at the mercy of official discretion.
But these are not necessarily what ordinary people have in mind when they call for the Rule of Law; they often have in mind the absence of corruption, the independence of the judiciary, and a presumption in favor of liberty.
Contestation about what the Rule of Law requires is partly a product of the fact that law itself comprises many things, and people privilege different aspects of a legal system.
For some the common law is the epitome of legality; for others, the Rule of Law connotes the impartial application of a clearly drafted statute; for others still the Rule of Law is epitomized by a stable constitution that has been embedded for centuries in the politics of a country.
In our own era, F. There is also continual debate about the relation between law and the mechanisms of government. For some, official discretion is incompatible with the Rule of Law; for others it depends on how the discretion is framed and authorized.
For some the final determination of a court amounts to the Rule of Law; for others, aware of the politics of the judiciary, rule by courts particularly a politically divided court is as much an instance of the rule of men as the decision of any other junta or committee see Waldron for a full account of these controversies.
The fact that the Rule of Law is a controversial idea does not stop various organizations from trying to measure its application in different societies. Groups like the World Justice Project concoct criteria and indexes of the Rule of Law, ranking the nations of the earth in this regard.
The criteria can be hardly be described as rigorous. But people in business value these rankings as part of their estimation of country risk for foreign investments see Barro History of the Rule of Law The Rule of Law has been an important ideal in our political tradition for millennia, and it is impossible to grasp and evaluate modern understandings of it without fathoming that historical heritage.
The heritage of argument about the Rule of Law begins with Aristotle c. DiceyF. Because the heritage of this idea is so much a part of its modern application, a few highlights need to be mentioned. Though he formulated the question of whether it was better to be ruled by the best man or the best laws, he approached that question realistically, noting that it depended not only on the type of law one was considering but also on the type of regime that enacted and administered the law in question Politics b But Aristotle did maintain that law as such had certain advantages as a mode of governance.
Laws are laid down in general terms, well in advance of the particular cases to which they may be applied. Moreover, laws are made after long consideration, whereas decisions in the courts are given at short notice, which makes it hard for those who try the case to satisfy the claims of justice.
Rhetoric b There were, he conceded, some cases so fraught with difficulty that they could be handled by general rules—cases that required the focused insight of particular judges; he used the term epieikeia sometimes translated as equity.
But these cases should be kept to a minimum and legal training and legal institutions should continue to play a role in the way they are disposed of.
In this context, something is arbitrary because it is extemporary: It is the arbitrariness of unpredictability, not knowing what you can rely on, being subject, as Locke put it Your thinking might be different from my thinking, and it might turn out that your view of the relation between your interests and my interests and your property and my interests might be quite different from my view of the matter and quite different again from the view of the next person I came across.Liberty and equality are not compatible.
Inequality is the price of a strong, economic liberal democracy. undermined the rule of law. Advanced Higher Modern Studies: Approved List of Dissertations, version 11 Judicial framework The UK is a police state. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies  – THE HISTORYAND ELEMENTS OFTHE RULE OF LAW Brian leslutinsduphoenix.comha∗ I.
Introduction I have written extensively about the rule of law for two basic reasons.1 First, the notion of the rule of law is perhaps the most powerful and often repeated political.
Modern Studies Dissertation. Topics: Drug addiction, taking drugs to some of the effects drugs have on people’s lifestyles and choices ends up with the law being broken.
People may have to steal and use tax aviation in order to pay for drugs. They may also become violent when they are on drugs due to the mood swings and increased.
Modern Studies in European Law. Modern Studies in European Law publishes the best new academic works on EU law by younger scholars in the subject. The series embraces the full scope of scholarship on EU law from doctrinal analysis to theoretical exploration, and also encourages inter-disciplinary, comparative and historical approaches, the .
Legal Reasoning of the Court of Justice in the Context of the Principle of Equality Between Judicial Activism and the radical transformation of the role of law and government in modern “welfare” case cannot merely consist of subsuming certain facts under a pre-existing rule of law; the decision itself.
The phrase “the Rule of Law” has to be distinguished from the phrase “a rule of law”. The latter phrase is used to designate some particular legal rule like the rule against perpetuities or the rule that says we have to file our taxes by a certain date.