Rule of Law refers to the set of norms, laws, and practices promulgated in a society. This body of public knowledge is accessible to all people, and should be able to provide guidance and protection in any conflict. Its main functions are to settle disputes and protect the people from abuses of power. As a result, the Rule of Law must be based on principles of independence, transparency, and integrity.
Principles of the Rule of Law
The principle of the rule of law is important to a society because it implies that everyone should be subject to the laws of the land. It stands in opposition to tyranny and oligarchy. The idea of the rule of law was first put into practice in 1215, when Archbishop Stephen Langton gathered a group of Barons and forced King John to submit to the law. The result was a document called Magna Carta, which guaranteed the ancient freedoms and liberties of the people as long as they paid taxes. It was a precursor to the United States Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of citizens in the same manner.
The principle of the rule of law is the fundamental principle of a constitutional democracy. It ensures that the laws are equally applied to all citizens and are made by representatives of the people. It also guarantees that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that they have the right to remain silent. Moreover, no one is required to incriminate themselves unless they choose to.
Historical development of the Rule of Law
While many Americans assume the United States was founded on the rule of law, this is not necessarily the case. While the Constitution establishes the rights of three co-equal branches of government – the judicial, legislative, and executive – the President of the United States has largely ignored judicial decisions when they did not serve their interests.
The Rule of Law can also foster legalism and overbureaucratization. Moreover, it can damage individual moral judgments. Those who place too much emphasis on the Rule of Law may become anxious in uncertain times and distrustful of their own judgment.
Impact of the Rule of Law on society
One of the most significant concepts in the philosophy of law is the rule of law. This principle essentially means that the law governs and protects the individual, rather than the individual determining the rules of society. It is also a principle that enables people to have rights and freedoms, which are guaranteed by the Constitution. However, this principle can be eroded by legislation. The rule of law is often undermined by legislation that purports to limit the scope of the judiciary and prevent judicial review of executive actions.
To improve the rule of law, governments must streamline their agencies and work together to achieve greater impact. In addition to coordinating their efforts, governments must work to improve the rule of law in other aspects of their society. A common problem in developing countries is that corruption in courts leads to the release of criminals, and outdated laws prevent police from arresting them. In such situations, jails often become breeding grounds for criminal gangs.
Characteristics of the Rule of Law
Rule of Law is one of the main characteristics of a stable society. It protects society from anarchy and the Hobbesian war of all against all. It also allows people to plan their affairs and know the legal consequences of their actions. It also guarantees that government bodies will not act arbitrarily.
The rule of law can be achieved by a democracy that satisfies the three fundamental principles outlined above. The first of these is that government and private actors are accountable to the law. The second is that laws are clear, public, and evenly applied. The third is that laws protect the rights and security of citizens.