Rule of Law

Spread the love

The Rule of Law has been derived from “THE PRINCIPLE OF LEGALITY” which is a French phrase meaning that the government relies on the principles of the law and that no man, however superior, will always be based on the principle of law. This principle was given by Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and he originated this principle with an aim of expelling the arbitrary and unlawful authority of the king, the government and he wanted to exercise the supremacy of the law and prove that kings will always be under the authority of God and the law. He did so for the avoidance of the tyranny created by the monarch and kings of that time.

In the concept of Dicey, he gave the Rule of Law three meaning dividing it into three parts:-

1. Supremacy of the law

2. Equality before the law

3. Predominance of legal spirits

When combined all the three points give the rule of law according to Dice.

Supremacy of law

It means the absolute dominance, as the phrase itself suggests, the absolute dominance of regular law in opposition to the arbitrary power or wide discretionary power of the king. It excludes the existence of arbitrariness, where there are discretionary powers aligned with government, the risk of insecurity of legal function will also be aligned. Therefore it suggested government cannot simply act in a way that pleases them. They have to work in accordance with the law and supremacy of law should always be maintained.

Equality before Law

Dicey has criticized the concept of Droit Administratif, it is a French concept in which the negation of equality is held and people have been discriminated on the basis of various things. Therefore, Dicey says that no matter what how high you are or no matter how low you are, you will always be same in the eye of law, and love will always be above you. Dicey says there should be equal subjection of all the classes to the ordinary law and there should be no discrimination held and law should equally treat the citizens and the officials.

Predominance of legal spirits

The right and freedom are in discretion to judicial decision.  Dicey emphasized the role of court as the guarantors of liberty, and suggest right, freedom and obligation must be adequately enforced if they are enforceable through the court of law, then by mere declaration of those rights or remedies in a document. Hence he has given an upper hand to codes to judiciary services in his theory.