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Rule of Law and what are its benefits and defects.

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Rule of Law and what are its benefits and defects.

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  • April 19, 2003
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INTRODUCTION

There has been debate over the Rule of Law suggesting a separation between the rules by law and rules made by mere power of a ruler. In the days of Aristotle and Plato, there was a clear distinction between rules and rule by mere power. These distinctions will be discussed below, detailing the benefits and defects of both types of rules.

More recently, the Rule of Law encompasses both rules (mainly Statutes) and judiciary-made rules. Statutes are necessary to limit judges' ultra vires but at same time, judiciary precedents are needed to 'complete loopholes' within these general statutes.

As seen throughout the discussion, notwithstanding defects/benefits statutes and judiciary-made rules have, both are incident to the Rule of Law.

Greek Debate over what is incident to the rule of law and what are its benefits and defects.

Aristotle and Plato have debated about the Rule of Law. Barker writes about Aristotle's viewpoint and how being ruled by a constitution & rotation of office provides everyone with the same rights and worth, rather than being ruled by a king judging in accordance with his/her own feelings & thereby, not having a 'neutral' mind when exercising authority.

Plato suggests powers exercised by a ruler are governed by customary and community rules. Decisions are made by the minds of the rulers & their delegates. Humans have some innate knowledge of what is important and good in human life and because of this, we should not be constrained by laws & rules but by what our minds tell us what is right & just in the circumstances.

Plato claims two defects within the idea of rules by law. Laws are too general and they are permanent. General rules can neglect and overlook the differences of people and their cases. e.g. Three people in a boat and all three knew that they wanted to eat each other, hence kill each other. A kills B, sharing B's body with C. Is this is murder or manslaughter? Is there a claim for 'self-defence' as...