The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

Law is an unavoidable part of our world. While the law is a fact, it doesn’t explain why things happen the way they do. As a result, people in all walks of life must adhere to the rules and regulations of the law. However, there are certain characteristics that make the law accessible to ordinary people.

Rule by law

Rule by law is a political system in which all people are treated equally. The supremacy of the law is guaranteed and all people have the right to be heard before the courts. A robust independent legal profession ensures the application of the law. Abuse of power and arbitrary arrests are not tolerated. The IBA calls on all countries to respect these principles.

Rule by judges

Rule by judges in law refers to a legal principle that requires a court to act within the boundaries of reason. This rule is not always the best choice, however. Statesman, for example, argued that rules are only helpful when it is impossible to discern expert opinion. Likewise, modern legal pragmatists place greater weight on judges’ insight and analogies with ancient precedents, rather than applying established rules.

Rule by general norms

A common example of a rule by general norms is the rules of a game. The rules of a game are norms about how to speak and behave in that game. The rules of a game correspond to the rules of correct speech in that language.

Accessibility of law to ordinary people

Accessibility of law to ordinary people is an important issue for the rule of law. People need to be able to understand what the law says, and to protect their rights. In addition, law must be fair. This means that there should be no one who is above the law and everyone who needs protection will be able to get it.

Relationship of law to political structures

Although legal theory has many forms, there are essentially two competing perspectives on the relationship between law and political structures. Conservatives deny that law is a political tool, and centrists attempt to eliminate it by seeking new sources of objectivity. The most basic explanation for this is that law must be separate from politics to appear objective. However, this quest for objectivity has been seen by leftists as a way of reifying society and taking political choice away from individuals.

Legal philosophers’ views on the Rule of Law

The contemporary debate over the Rule of Law has a variety of philosophical backgrounds. Various approaches to legal theory and legal reasoning have been proposed, including legal positivism, analytic jurisprudence, and natural law theory. However, the core of this debate is the connection between the nature of law and moral facts, and how they relate to each other. This debate is sometimes known as legal positivism, and is often associated with the late Ronald Dworkin and Joseph Raz.