Chapter

The Rule of Law

T. R. S. Allan

in Law, Liberty, and Justice

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259916
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682025 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259916.003.0002

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Rule of Law

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To a British constitutional lawyer, the term ‘rule of law’ seems to mean primarily a corpus of basic principles and values, which together lend stability and coherence to the legal order. They help to define the nature of the constitution, reflecting constitutional history and generating expectations about the conduct and character of modern government. The rule of law is an amalgam of standards, expectations, and aspirations: it encompasses traditional ideas about individual liberty and natural justice, and ideas about the requirements of justice and fairness in the relations between the government and the governed. The idea of the rule of law is also linked with certain basic institutional arrangements. The fundamental notion of equality, which lies close to the heart of our convictions about justice and fairness, demands an equal voice for all adult citizens in the legislative process.

Keywords: Ronald Dworkin; juridicial principle; rule of law; Joseph Raz; natural justice; liberty

Chapter.  13262 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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