• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is meant by the rule of law

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is meant by the rule of law? The rule of law maybe defined in brief as a doctrine that no individual, however powerful is above the law. In principle Rule of Law had a significant influence on attempts to restrain the arbitrary use of power by rulers and the growth of legally enforced Human Rights in many western countries. It is often used as a justification for separately legislative from judicial power, this can be clearly seen within the government structure of the UK. The Government in the UK is highly centralised and carried out within a written state - Government power is not confined by a written constitution or bill of rights. ...read more.

Middle

Hearn's inspiration for his idea lay in the constitution conflicts of the 17th century. King James I claimed royal authority over the law despite much acknowledged advice to the contrary. Dicey's own reasons about the existence of the rule of law depended in large part on the work of Blackstone, Coke and Austin. Dicey recognised the difficulty of resolving the operation of constitutional conventions and the compatibility of parliamentary sovereignty with the rule of law. Dicey believed in the rule of law and the use of conventions as essential mechanisms against abuse, especially of discretionary power. Conventions recognised public "morality" which self-limited the power of Parliament. In the absence of any formal doctrine of separation of powers or a written constitution limiting the powers of the executive within the state, the rule of law provided a convenient means to express concern over the uncontrolled powers of a newly enfranchised parliament. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dicey in his studies gave three meanings for the rule of law to be considered as part of the constitution order of the UK. Primarily Dicey insisted on the predomination of ordinary law in that no man could be punished or lawfully interfered with by the authorities except for breach of law. In other words all government action must be authorised by law. Secondly, discretionary power however broadly based must not ba abused or used in an unrestricted way to circumvent the legislative authority of parliament. Again no man is above the law and everyone including parliament is subject to ordinary laws of the land. Thirdly Dicey believed that the enforcement of the principles of the rule of law was best achieved through ordinary courts and not as a part of a written constitution. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Police powers

    4 star(s)

    Secondly, the assault Tyrone received from the officer is unlawful because he was not about to commit an offence or in attempt to escape from a crime. Even though it was late at night, he has the right to refuse such an unlawful arrest because the officer did not provide reasons.

  2. Worlds Apart: Orientalism, Antifeminism, and Heresy in Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale

    find a place for it within the "family of Christian error," to present it as an erroneous faith that Christians could see only as a perversion of their own truth. In particular, Islam's denial of Christ's divinity was considered the most blasphemous part of its heretical falsehood.

  1. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    Eventually the courts decided that s18 GBH could be committed recklessly providing that the defendant was resisting lawful apprehension. R v Morrison 1989 - Resisted arrest when trying to escape form the police. He escaped through a window. The police officer cut herself.

  2. To what extent has the Human Rights Act 1998 strengthened the rule of law ...

    In particular, it has long since been argued that the rule of law reflects fundamental rights and liberties of citizens and therefore constrains action which adversely affects these rights and liberties. Dworkin argues that the concepts of the formal rule of law and substantive justice are, figuratively speaking, two sides of the same coin.

  1. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    holder before maturity that he has no fixed residence, and that he will call in a few days to see if the bill has been paid by the acceptor. 2. When the drawer has countermanded payment. This is so because he has made it impossible for the holder to obtain payment.

  2. prisoners rights

    group after his release from jail finally, as the visits continue the personal relationship during the term of imprisonment, which brings about a psychological communion between him and other members of the family. As to visits by professionals, i.e. the lawyer, the same has to be guaranteed to the required

  1. Explain how constitutional conventions differ from laws and discuss, with the use of examples, ...

    courts: "the very name 'convention' is a negation of a right of action at law."6 Although this is the main distinction between laws and conventions, is it clear what enforcement signifies? In accordance with The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English to enforce is "to make people obey a rule of

  2. Discuss the Importance of the Doctrine of Supremacy

    to ensure fulfilment of their obligations arising out of the EEC Treaty.4 Furthermore: The pre-eminence of Community law is confirmed by Article [249] which prescribes that Community regulations have an "obligatory" value and are "directly applicable within each Member State."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work