The rule of law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by unpredictable decisions of individual government officials. Rule of law emphasises that every citizen must act in accordance with the law.
The concept of the rule of law was made popular by Professor A.V Dicey in his book “An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution”.
PRINCIPLES OF THE RULE OF LAW
- Principle of impartiality: This ensures that no one is punished of any offence except he/she has been found guilty by the court.
- Principle of equality before the law: This ensures that every member of the society is treated equally.
- Principle of fair hearing: This principle states that anyone arrested for an offence should be listen to through normal court process before judgment is passed.
- Principle of supremacy of the law. This principle states that the law of the land is always the final authority.
- Right to appeal. : This states that when a person is not satisfied with the judgment of a lower court, s/he has the right to appeal the judgment by applying to a higher courth
RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN LIBERTY
Liberty means the right, power, willingness and the ability of a person to act, believe, or express him/herself without being forced. Liberty is the ability to do something that does not affect other people’s freedom.
HOW THE RULE OF LAW ENSURES HUMAN LIBERTY
- The rule of law helps citizen and non-citizen to enjoy their rights as it is claimed in the constitution.
- The rule of law does not allow autocratic rule by the Government.
- The rule of law forbids an offender to be arrested without being told the offence s/he is being charged.
- The rule of law entails total supremacy of the law over everyone
- The rule of law ensures that an individual should not be made to suffer any loss of personal liberty in any way except he/she is found to have broken the law.
PROTECTION OF HUMAN AND MINORITY RIGHTS
Minority rights are the normal individual rights as applied to members of racial, ethnic, class, religious, linguistic or sexual minorities; and also the collective rights accorded to minority groups. Minority rights may also apply simply to individual rights of anyone who is not part of a majority decision.