The Politics of the Rule of Law


in Ethics in the Public Domain

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780198260691
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682148 | DOI:
The Politics of the Rule of Law

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This chapter examines the political significance of the moral justification of the rule of law in Britain. It regards the rule of law not as a universal moral imperative, but rather as a doctrine which is valid or good to certain types of society provided they meet the cultural and institutional presuppositions for the rule of law. It notes two contemporary approaches to the justification of the rule of law. The first regards it as requirement to the justification of the rule of law. The second is the tradition-oriented approach. It emphasizes two virtues: bureaucratic justice, the protection of the individual in anonymous social surroundings; and democratic continuity. It also argues that these virtues can only be achieved in a country with democratic culture, and a culture of legality with a tradition of independence for the courts, the legal profession, the police, and the civil service.

Keywords: formal justice; common law; rule of law; Britain; bureaucratic justice; democratic continuity; democratic culture

Chapter.  4292 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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