No one is above the law—the importance of advancing the rule of law

No one is above the law—the importance of advancing the rule of law

No one is above the law.

It might sound like a line from the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie, but the idea that “no one is above the law” underpins the whole of today’s legal system and is the essence of the rule of law.

The rule of law, as outlined by Professor A V Dicey in 1885, can be broken down into three main concepts:

  • no man could be lawfully interfered or punished by the authorities except for breaches of law established in the ordinary manner before the courts of land
  • no man is above the law and everyone, whatever his condition or rank is, is subject to the ordinary laws of the land
  • the result of the ordinary law of the land is constitution

September of this year saw the very concept of upholding the rule of law values in the UK challenged when Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, considered ‘deliberately’ breaking the law in order to see Brexit through. But this challenge to the rule of law only brushes the surface of a much wider issue.

LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation identified that “57% of the world’s population live outside the shelter of the law—struggling for basic, human rights on a daily basis”. From the lack of access to justice, to the direct correlation (found by the Rule of Law Impact Tracker) between the absence of the rule of law and economic slow-down, stagnation and decline, it’s clear this is not a crisis that can be solved overnight or by one individual.

Advancing the rule of law

LexisNexis is devoted to advancing the rule of law and has been working hard to do so. Its efforts have been recognised by the United Nations and will see Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional, receive a Global Leadership Award from the United Nations Foundation in recognition of the company's contributions to advancing

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About the author:

Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.