Rule of Law

Topics: Law, Human rights, Separation of powers Pages: 4 (1400 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Basmah Elahi

Rule of Law

London International Programs, UG Law, Public Law Essay 2.
The Rule of Law, enforced by the courts, is the ultimate controlling factor on which our constitution is based. Discuss.

The rule of law is one of the fundamental principles of UK’s unwritten or uncodified constitution .The key idea of the rule of law is that the law should apply equally to all, rulers and ruled alike. This in the words of the 19-century constitution expert, A.V.Diecy ensures a ‘government of law' and not a ‘government of men ‘. The alternative to the rule of law is there for arbitrary government. In this way, the rule of law establishes the relationship between government and the people. AS John Lock put it, ‘whenever law ends, tyranny begins. Furthermore, the rule of law is the principle that the law should rule in the sense that it applies to all conduct and behavior and covers both private and public officials. The most important sub principles of the rule of law are that no one is above the law , that there is equality for all before the law, that the law is always applied and that legal redress is available through the courts .

The most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process. The principle is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance, whether by a totalitarian leader or by mob rule. Thus, the rule of law is hostile both to dictatorship and to anarchy. 

However, the rule of law is a complex principle, and it is best explained as a collection of sub-principles. There has been, moreover, significant debate about how far the law ‘rules' the UK. Harden and Lewis (1988) even describe the rule of law as the ‘noble lie' of the British constitution. As previously mentioned,...
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