Rule of Law Simple Def
Kevin Lindgren, a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia, was appointed Associate Professor of Rule of Law at the University of Sydney in 2012. He has lectured extensively on the concept of the rule of law and is the author of an article entitled “The Rule of Law: Its State of Health in Australia”. The Institute has also produced a short series of lectures on our YouTube channel to cover key aspects of Professor Lindgren`s lectures, such as: The substantive interpretation preferred by Dworkin, Laws and Allan states that the rule of law protects some or all individual rights per se. The rule of law is particularly important as an influence on the economic development of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. So far, the term “rule of law” is mainly used in English-speaking countries and has not yet been fully clarified, even with regard to established democracies such as Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany or Japan. A common language between lawyers in common law and civil law countries, as well as between the legal communities in developed and developing countries, is essential to explore the links between the rule of law and the real economy.  Ideas about the rule of law have been central to political and legal thought since at least the 4th century BC, when Aristotle distinguished “the rule of law” from “that of an individual.” In the 18th century, the French political philosopher Montesquieu developed a doctrine of the rule of law that pitted the legitimate authority of monarchs against the arbitrariness of despots. He has profoundly influenced Western liberal thought ever since. At its most basic level, the rule of law is the concept that government and citizens know and obey the law. A good definition of the rule of law, which is almost universally accepted, is that the “formal” interpretation is more widespread than the “substantive” interpretation.
Formalists believe that the law must be forward-looking, well-known, and have characteristics of generality, equality, and security. In addition, the formal notice does not contain any requirements as to the content of the law.  This formal approach allows for the adoption of laws that protect democracy and individual rights, but recognizes the existence of the “rule of law” in countries that do not necessarily have such laws to protect democracy or individual rights. The best-known arguments in favor of formal interpretation have been advanced by A.V. Dicey, F.A.Hayek, Joseph Raz and Joseph Unger. Kenyans are gullible in their flogging of some of us who defend the rule of law. They have forgotten that Fred Matiang`i, Gordon Kihalangwa and Joseph Boinnet violated Article 10 and Chapter 6, were convicted and fined. All three are still in the public service! ^ Justice Kennedy suggests that the rule of law has taken on special importance to the people of the United States, based on our history of looking to the law to fulfill the promises of freedom, justice, and equality set forth in our nation`s founding documents. Indeed, as we discussed in more detail in Part II of the Dialogue, our understanding of the rule of law in the United States has evolved around the belief that one of the primary purposes of the rule of law is to protect certain fundamental rights. The U.S. Constitution was a nation`s first attempt to create a written constitution of laws that would bind the government and guarantee special rights to its people.
Today, the rule of law is often linked to efforts to promote the protection of human rights worldwide. One term that is often used is ignoring the rule of law. It implies that someone claims to think that the law does not apply to them. The functional interpretation of the term “rule of law”, which is consistent with the traditional English sense, contrasts the “rule of law” with the “rule of man”.  From a functional perspective, a society in which government officials have a wide margin of discretion has a low degree of “rule of law”, while a society in which government officials have little discretion has a high degree of “rule of law”.  Maintaining the rule of law may sometimes require punishing those who commit crimes justified by natural law but not by law.  The rule of law is therefore somewhat at odds with flexibility, although the latter is preferable.  The American democratic system is not always based on the simple majority rule. Certain principles are so important to the nation that the majority has agreed not to interfere in these areas. For example, the Bill of Rights was adopted because concepts such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, equal treatment and due process were considered so important that even a majority should not be allowed to change them. In France and Germany, the concepts of the rule of law correspond to the principles of constitutional primacy and protection of fundamental rights in the public sector (cf. public law), in particular the legislator.
  The France was one of the early pioneers of rule of law ideas.  The German interpretation is “more rigid” but similar to that of the France and the United Kingdom.   The Oxford English Dictionary has defined the rule of law as: The idea of the rule of law has been around for a long time. Many societies, including our own, have institutions and procedures in place to try to make the rule of law a reality. These institutions and procedures have helped define what constitutes the rule of law and what is necessary to achieve it. While certain institutional traditions and conventions, as well as written laws, may be important in ensuring that judicial decisions are based on plausible interpretations of existing laws, no single institutional character of a State should be considered necessary or sufficient for the ideal of the rule of law. The rule of law is not linked to national experience or to a number of specific institutions, although it may be better served in some countries and by some institutions. Moreover, institutional arrangements that ensure the rule of law in one community could not easily be replicated or transferred to another. Different political regimes embody their own judgments about how to implement specific constitutional ideals in light of their particular legal and cultural traditions, which naturally influence the character of their institutions. Nevertheless, the sociological starting point of the rule of law is shared by all cultures: for the rule of law to be more than an empty principle, most people in a society, even those whose profession is to administer the law, must believe that no individual or group should be above the law.
The influence of Britain, France and the United States has helped spread the principle of the rule of law in other countries of the world.   The rule of law means that every citizen is subject to the law. This is contrary to the idea that the sovereign is above the law, for example by divine right. Listen to federal judges explain why the rule of law matters and how it affects our daily lives The rule of law does not depend on an American-style separation of powers.