"No free man shall be taken or imprison or desseised or exiled or in any way destroyed nor will we go or send for him, except under a lawful judgement of his peers and by the law of the land". --MAGNA CARTA
This paper is a presentation of the concept of rule of law, Dicey's theory of 'Rule of Law', rule of law in true and modern sense and rule of law in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh context I have discussed the provisions for ensuring rule of law in Bangladesh constitution. I also have discussed the provisions of the constitution, which are contrary to the concept of rule of law in Bangladesh. It has been also identified the difficulties of application of rule of law in Bangladesh.
One of the basic principles of the English constitution is the rule of law. This doctrine is accepted in the constitution of U.S.A. and also in the constitution of Bangladesh. Now a days rule of law is one of the most discussed subjects of developing countries. Developed countries and donor agencies always instruct the developing countries for sustainable development and good governance. Actually sustainable development and good governance mostly depends on the proper application of rule of law. Laws are made for the welfare of the people, to bring a balance in society, a harmony between the conflicting forces in society. One of the prime objects of making laws is to maintain law and order in society, a peaceful environment for the progress of the people. In true and real sense there is no rule of law in Bangladesh today. Law in Bangladesh follows a course of selective and discretionary application. Institution and procedures required for ensuring rule of law also are no effective in the country.
CONCEPT OF THE RULE OF LAW
The term 'Rule of Law' is derived from the French phrase 'La Principe de Legality' (the principle of legality) which referse to a government based on principles of law and not of men. In this sense the concept of 'La Principe de Legality' was opposed to arbitrary powers.1
The rule of law is old origin. In thirteenth century Bracton, a judge in the reign of Henry III wrote-
"The king himself ought to be subject to God and the law, because law makes him king."2
Edward Coke is said to be the originator of this concept, when he said that the king must be under God and law and thus vindicated the supremacy of law over the pretensions of the executives. Professor A.V. Dicey later developed on this concept in his classic book 'The Law Of The Constitution.' published in the year 1885.3 Dicey's concept of the rule of law contemplated the absence of wide powers in the hands of government officials. According to him wherever there is desecration there is room for arbitrainess.4 The rule of law is a viable and dynamic concept and like many other such concepts, is not capable of any exact definition. Its simplest meaning is that everything must be done according to law, but in that sense it gives little comfort unless it also means that the law must not give the government too much power. The rule of law is opposed to the rule of arbitrary power.5 The primary meaning of rule of law is that the ruler and the ruled must be subject to law and no one is above the law and hence accountable under the law. It implies the supremacy of law and the recognition that the law to be law can not be capricious.
DICEY'S THEORY OF RULE OF LAW
According to Dicey, the rule of law is one of the fundamental principles of the English constitution he gave three meanings of the concept of rule of law.
1. Absence of Arbitrary Power or Supremacy of Law
Explain the first principle, Dicey states that rule of law means the absolute supremacy or predominance of regular law as...