Rule of law

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Rule of law

Post  msistarted on Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:26 am

The rule of law is a legal maxim that states no person is immune to law.

The phrase has been used since the 17th century, but the concept can be traced to ancient Greece. Aristotle put it this way: "law should govern". Rule of law stands in contrast to the idea that the sovereign is above the law (rex lex), a feature of Roman Law and other legal systems.

One way to be free from the rule of law is by denying that an enactment has the necessary attributes of law. The rule of law has therefore been described as "an exceedingly elusive notion"[2] giving rise to a "rampant divergence of understandings".[3]

At least two principal conceptions of the rule of law can be identified: a formalist or "thin" and a substantive or "thick" definition of the rule of law. Formalist definitions of the rule of law do not make a judgment about the "justness" of law itself, but define specific procedural attributes that a legal framework must have in order to be in compliance with the rule of law. Substantive conceptions of the rule of law go beyond this and include certain substantive rights that are said to be based on, or derived from, the rule of law.[4]

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