A rule of law is a set of principles and practices that guide the conduct of human affairs. Its origins, characteristics and opponents are outlined below. In addition, we will explore the ramifications of breaking the rule of law. Ultimately, the Rule of Law is a vital component of democracy and civil society. In this article, we’ll discuss the Basic Principles of the Rule of Law and their origins. You’ll also learn how to apply the principles and practices of the Rule of Law in your own life.
Basic principles of the Rule of Law
According to the rule of law, all people are equal under the law. There is a separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law. The rule of law is an important part of constitutional democracy, because it ensures that everyone in society can participate in the creation and enforcement of laws, and it makes sure that everyone in society is protected from abuse of power.
As a result of the Rule of Law, people value the rule of law as a fundamental ideal, even if it is purely formal. Laws enshrouding a society are more predictable and less peremptory, which reduces the risk of arbitrary power. Furthermore, they create a bond of reciprocity and mutual constraint between people. This alleviates the asymmetry in political power.
Origins of the Rule of Law
The origins of the rule of law are contested, but we can draw some conclusions from historical events. One of the earliest theories about the origins of the rule of law traces its origins back to ancient Athens. While the execution of Socrates in 399 BC has garnered most attention, ancient Athens also contributed to the development of rule of law principles. The Athenian system of magistrates, drawn by lottery from the Assembly composed of all the citizens, was based on peer judgment. Citizens were allowed to bring private matters before the courts, as well. Athens’ introduction of binding contracts between equal citizens is noteworthy.
The concept of the rule of law is a relatively stable set of norms and principles that govern behavior. It requires that the government operate within a legal framework and that it be held accountable by law whenever there is a suggestion of improper action. The rule of law is also based on the idea that no one is above the law, including the rulers. Therefore, it demands that all citizens abide by the laws and do not break them.
Opponents of the Rule of Law
Thoughts from various eras have lauded the rule of law as a way to maintain a civil society. However, the concept has attracted its share of opponents as well. Some notable opponents include Plato and Hobbes. They argued that the rule of law does not necessarily refer to rule by law but to the ‘rule of morality.’ Others, like Carl Schmitt, have criticised the liberal assumption that rules should prevail in crisis.
While the concept of the Rule of Law is a purely formal concept, it is widely respected by the people who benefit from it. The Rule of Law takes the arbitrary edge of power by making it more predictable, predictible, and non-peremptory. Additionally, it establishes a bond of mutuality and constraint, and mitigates the asymmetry in power. Therefore, the rule of law is a great way to protect our society from chaos.
The characteristic of law is a set of evaluative judgments that determines its content and prescription. For example, a person may have a strong opinion about whether a particular rule is right or wrong, or whether it is just. An evaluative judgment may be based on what one observes, what the judge thinks, and what is the best thing to do in a particular case. Such judgments are the hallmarks of legal theory.
The biblical record shows us that the characteristic of law reflects God. In fact, the historic understanding of law parallels the biblical account. One preeminent characteristic of God is that He is the uncreated Creator. In addition, God is the Creator of the universe, and He commanded that the laws should be observable. This preeminent characteristic makes the law of God an objective, real thing that must be complied with by the inferior.