Rule of Law | Principles of Rule of Law | History of Rule of Law

Elaborate the Rule of Law, in the light of Pakistan, British, and American constitution?

Elaborate the Rule of law, in the light of Article 4 of the constitution of Pakistan 1973?

Elaborate the background history of rule of law and Diecy's concept of rule of law?

Rule of Law | Principles of Rule of Law | History of Rule of Law
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Meaning of Rule of Law

He rule of law refers to the idea that everyone in a society agrees to be governed by and follow the laws of a society.

The rule of law refers to a situation in which the people in a society obey its laws and enable it to function properly.

What is the Rule of Law?

The rule of law is a set of principles, or ideals, for ensuring an orderly and just society. Many countries throughout the world strive to uphold the rule of law where no one is above the law, everyone is treated equally under the law, everyone is held accountable to the same laws, there are clear and fair processes for enforcing laws, there is an independent judiciary, and human rights are guaranteed for all.

Definitions of Rule of Law According to Different Jurists

According to Plato: - The meaning of rule of law is that it is supreme in nature and nobody is above the law.

According to Aristotle: - Aristotle has written that law should be the final sovereign of the state.

According to Sir Edward Coke: - “Rule of Law” means the absence of arbitrary power on the part of Government.


Sharma v Brown-Antoine (2006) UKPC 57

Lord Bingham and Lord Walker, sitting in the Privy Council, stated that:

'' No individual should be immune to the criminal law which should apply to all individuals alike. High office cannot excuse conduct that would lead to prosecution; based on the principles of Supremacy of law, equal subjection to the law and the common law relationship between the government and the citizen.''

CASE LAW 2                            

State of Bihar vs. Sonawati Kumari,

It is an integral part of Rule of law that all the authority within the State including executive government should be bound to obey the rules.

Basic Principles of Rule of Law:- 

  1. Law is supreme and nobody is above the law.
  2. All the things should be done according to a law not as per whim.
  3. No person should be suffered except for the breach of law.
  4. Absence of arbitrary is the soul of the rule of law.
  5. Equality before the law and equal protection of the law.
  6. Speedy trial.
  7. The fair and just procedure should be conducted.
  8. Independent and impartial judiciary.

According to Davis, there are 7 types of Modern law

  1. Law and orders.
  2. Principle of Natural law.
  3. Fixed rules and regulations.
  4. Eliminate the idea discretion.
  5. Due and fair process of law.
  6. Preferences for judges and court of law to executive authority and administrative tribunals.
  7. Judicial review of administrative action.

So, in proper manner rule of the law say that it silent on the democratic system, where the political interest is encouraged and criticism of the government is not only permitted but given positive merit.

How Freedom of Speech and Expression is an integral part of the Rule of law

Rule of law is very founding stone of stage of democratic stands that’s why it is considered as an important and integral part of Rule of Law. To ask for the right of others and the way they are expressed can be either by speaking, writing, drawing, etc. and above all rule of law does not go with arbitrariness which can be established by fiving freedom and one of such freedoms is freedom of Speech and expression.

Now, let’s understand about Freedom of Speech and expression is one of the important fundamental rights given under the Constitution for every individual to enjoy it fully. Freedom of speech and expression should be used in a very delicate manner because while expressing the idea, thought it should not defame or hurt the sentiments of any individual or religion view and without the fear of getting punished for any offensive act. As per UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Resources) every individual has the right to freedom of expression and opinion. The right involves the right to hold the information without any interference from any media or other sources. Right to freedom of speech and expression is recognized as an essential human right under Article 19 of the UDHR as well as in ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

History of Rule of Law:-

Roman Period: - In the late Roman period, the view was established that Royalty was above the law and subject only to the law of God and not to other men. The path to the institutionalism after rule of law advanced and then at times was weakened. The Magna Carta 1215 enshrined the principle that the king was not above the law. Barons demanded that King John accept the charter after a period of domestic unrest due to the king's focus on foreign war and his raising of taxes to finance the war with France. The final version of the Magna Carta provides that:

  1. No bailiff should prosecute without producing witnesses in evidence.
  2. Lawful imprisonment or exile requires judgement by one's peers in accordance with the law of the land.
  3. Right or justice cannot be denied to delay.
  4. Knowledge of the law must exist before it can be enforced.
  5. Restorative justice should exist where once land or Liberties are removed without a legal sentence of one's peers.
  6. Unjust and illegal that the king had imposed should be repaid.
  7. No one is above the law including the clergy or laity as for as it pertains to them.

According to Sir. Edward Cooke: -Sir Edward Coke asserted that ''the king could not act as a judge using his own reason to reach decisions, but should be tried by judges who applied the law to the facts.''

Petition of Rights 1628:- Petition of rights 1628 was a petition from the barons to the king to remind him of the principles of the rule of law established in the Magna Carta. The petition of rights extended the rule of law and due process to encompass some implied terms of the Magna Carta. 

The principles encompassed within the petition of rights include:

  1. No free man should be imprisoned or removed his Liberties without appropriate judgement by his peers, within the due process of law.
  2. No man should be ejected from his land, imprisoned without being brought to answer by due process of law.
  3. Despite these principles, many people had been brought before the king and imprisoned without being brought before the justices, these individuals were just detained at the king's command and Returns prison without being charged.
  4. No individual should be sentenced to death without being judged according to the principles of the Magna Carta and the law of the land. 

Habeas Corpus: - The Right of Habeas Corpus and essential feature of the rule of law, and is not explicitly mentioned in the Magna Carta but subject to much future legislation. It matured in legal terms in the petition of right. It requires a detainee to be brought before the court, so the legality of their detention can be determined and if not, the Prisoner must be released.

The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 specifically legislated for the fact that a detainee was entitled to be brought before a court to subject his or her detention too judicial and hence legal scrutiny.

The Bill of Rights 1689:- The bill of rights 1689 stated that Law could not be made, replaced or suspended without the will of the Parliament. The Crown could not manipulate the court system, and subjects were now able to bring an action against the monarch. The monarch and courts could not subvert the requirements of habeas corpus. The bill also sets out the basic and fundamental principles that determine the operation of the rule of law.

Rule of Law in 20th Century: - Throughout the 20th century the rule of law has become a term of widespread academic debate, Court judgements and parliamentary debates. It is referred to in section 1 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Preamble to the European convention on Human Rights 1950 and the Preamble to the Treaty on    European Union.

Concept of Rule of Law According to Lord Bingham:-

Lord Bingham ''The Rule of Law'' (2007) 66 CLJ 67, 69 argued that:-

The core of the existing principle is... That all persons and authorities within the state, whether public or private, should be bound by and entitled to the benefit of laws publicly and prospectively promulgated and publicly administered in the courts.

Lord Bingham Subsequently defined 8 sub rules:

  1. The law must be accessible so far as possible, intelligible, clear and predictable.
  2. Questions of legal right and liability should generally be decided by application of the law and not the exercise of the direction.
  3. The law must apply equally to everyone, unless differences can be justified.
  4. The law must provide appropriate protection of essential and basic human rights.
  5. The parties in civil disputes must be able to resolve disputes without facing the use legal Cost or excessive delays.
  6. The executive must use the powers given to them reasonably, in good faith, for the proper purpose and must not exceed the limits of these powers.
  7. There must be adjudicative procedural fairness.
  8. The state must comply with the obligations of international law which weather driving from Treaty or International custom and practice governs the conduct of nations.

The Rule of Law was first originated by Sir Edward Coke: - 

"The Chief Justice in England at the time of King James I. Coke was the first person to criticize the maxims of Divine Concept. He strongly believed that the King should also be under the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law doctrine was later developed by A.V. Dicey in his book, “Introduction to the Law of Constitution (1885).” The Rule of Law according to Dicey means that no man is punishable or can be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for distinct breach of law and no man is above the law. The term Rule of Law thus, means the paramount of Law over Government."
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