What is the Rule of Law?

What is the Rule of Law?

At LexisNexis we are a keen advocate of the Rule of Law and our fundamental purpose as a company is to ‘advance the rule of law around the globe’. Following the recent launch of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation and our latest LexChat podcast with James Harper, LexisNexis executive sponsor for the Rule of Law, this article takes a deeper dive into what the Rule of Law is and why it’s important.

The A V Dicey definition

There are many different definitions for the Rule of Law, whether that is between nations or legal traditions. One of the most common is the definitions in the UK was outlined by Professor A V Dicey in 1885 who broke it down into three 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

Rule of Law an easy definition

In line with Dicey’s definition, LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation has outlined an easy memorable definition...

What is the Rule of Law

What does the rule of law mean to LexisNexis?

Opening up the Rule of Law Equation further, to LexisNexis the Rule of Law consists of four essential components:

  • everyone is equal in front of the law—it does not matter whether you are a citizen or a monarch, rich or poor, you get treated the same by the law
  • everyone has access to the published law—if you do not know what the law is, how can you seek its protection?
  • that law is administered by an independent judiciary—politicians and governments make the law, and this will always be politically influenced. The judiciary is independent and no

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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.