The Rule of Law


Basically, law is a set of rules. However, law does not rule over you; it simply reflects the nature of society, and the principles of its morality. Laws have to be made clear and understandable, and the rule of law must be integrated with other ideals of society.

Principles of the inner morality of law

During the early modern period, arguments about the Rule of Law and the morality of law raged. The arguments continued through the European Enlightenment and through American constitutionalism. The discussion also spanned international law.

The morality of law is the theory that law has an internal morality. Fuller outlined eight formal principles of law.

These principles include generality, intelligibility, consistency, prospectivity, and practicalability. These concepts are the core jurisprudential intuitions that Fuller uses to argue that law is moral.

Rule by law is not ruling by law

Using the rule of law as a trump card has its downsides, not the least of which is the erosion of privacy. A rule of law is best implemented by establishing a clear boundary between public and private domains. For example, an individual cannot have an open office in their home. This is especially true in a public or quasi-public institution. In general, a government that is able to impose and enforce laws will be better able to protect its citizens from the worst offenders.

Integration of the Rule of Law with other ideals

Despite the ambiguity of its formal conception, the rule of law is an important concept. It expresses state behavior towards individuals and it provides a basis for judicial review. It is also an integral aspect of accountable government in a democratic society.

However, the rule of law is not a universally accepted concept. In fact, it has been the subject of many critiques. These critiques focus on the idea that it does not capture all dimensions of the rule of law.

Integration of the Rule of Law with political structures

Throughout the ages, the concept of Rule of Law has played an important role in political thought. It is a vital principle that ensures that no one can rise above the law, and ensures that everyone is equally protected.

The concept of Rule of Law has been critically contested throughout its history. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that there is no unambiguous consensus on its value. Some theorists celebrate the idea of Rule of Law, whereas others disparage it. However, the concept of Rule of Law continues to be relevant and important for political stability and for social growth.