What is the Rule of Law?

scales of justiceThe concept of the Rule of Law stems from a lot of different continents and traditions. It is intertwined with the history of law around the world. In 1760 B.C, the King of Babylon promulgated the Code of Hammurabi. It is one of the first citations of the law’s codification. It was presented to the public, and applied to each act of the ruler.

In the Middle East, there was a tradition of Islamic Law. It was considered supreme and prime. Throughout the Asian continent, there are principles of holding Government authority to place and account the wishes of the general population. These principles are present amid the philosophical and moral traditions.

When it comes to Anglo-American culture, most valid documents emphasized the significance of the judiciary independence. People believed in the importance of the judicial process. In Europe, the Rule of Law focused on the basic condition and nature of the State. It focused on the standard role of constitutionalism.

In recent years, there have been many attempts to formalize the basic meaning of the Rule of Law. In the modern times, the conception of the Rule of Law has quickly developed as a basic concept that is distinct from the Rule of Man. This involves a system of governance, which is based on non-arbitrary rules. The Rule of Law does not focus on the whim and power of an absolute ruler.

The underlying concept of the Rule of Law is connected to the Principle of Justice. It involves the perfect fairness and accountability in the vindication and protection of rights. It also focuses on the punishments and prevention of injustice. Even before the United Nations, many countries, were already working toward the Rule of Justice in the global context. There was a view to establish a global community on the basis of law.

What is the Rule of Law?

The Rule of Law is a simple concept. It upholds the justice system around the world, and make sure people have a good shot at justice. According to the World Justice Project, the Rule of Law is a system that upholds the following 4 principles:

  • The Government, agents, officials, individuals and private entities are accountable under the Rule of Law.
  • The laws are publicized, clear, just and stable. They need to be applied evenly, and protect everyone’s fundamental rights, including the security of property and people.
  • The process through which the laws are administered, enforced and enacted should be fair, efficient and accessible.
  • Justice should be delivered timely by ethical, independent and competent representatives. The neutral representatives should have adequate resources to pass a verdict.

Besides these 4 principles, the Rule of Law is also associated with other basic principles. These principles explain the objectives of the United Stations when it decided to formulate the Rule of Law under the World Justice Project.

Constraints on Government Powers

We live in a society that is governed by the Rule of Law. Therefore, the Government, its agents and officials are held accountable and subject to under the Rule of Law. Modern societies have clearly developed a lot of systems to keep checks on Government powers.

Absence of Corruption

The absence of corruption is defined as the use of public position and power for private gain. Corruption can lead to some serious consequences. Thus, the Rule of Law aims to minimize corrupt practices.

Open Government

Open Government is extremely important to the Rule of Law. It focuses on access, engagement, collaboration and participation between the citizens and the Government. It plays a very important role in upholding justice.

Fundamental Rights

According to the Rule of Law, Governments need to guarantee fundamental rights. The law should not fail to respect basic human rights established as per the International Law. This ensures justice.

Order and Security

Security and safety are the defining concepts of any law in the modern society. Protecting human security strengthens the fundamental function of the Government. Order and security are related to both humans and property.

Besides these, there are also many other concepts related to the Rule of Law. In simple terms, the Rule of Law makes sure people are able to live in harmony. The Rule of Law governs various practices associated with justice, law and order.