Meaning And Origin Of The Rule Of Law

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Meaning and Origin: The concept of Rule of Law is that the state is governed by the law, not by the king or the representatives of the people. In other words, rule of law means no one is above the law. The term “rule of law” is derived from the French phrase la principe de legalite (the principle of legality) which refers to a government based on principles of law and not of person. In this the concept of la principe de legalite was opposed to arbitrary powers.
Firstly, Greeks located the concept of the rule of law. Jurist Aristotle made a difference between procedural justice and moral justice and wrote that “law should be the final sovereign”. James M. Buchanan distinguishes between “law” and the “rule of law”. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine argued that rule of law represents the natural order of God as ascertained through divine inspiration and human resource. In the medieval, the English jurist Edward Coke asserted that king must be under God and law. The modern concept of the rule of law is fairly wide and sets up ideal for any government to achieve and was developed by the International Commission of Jurists, known as Delhi Declaration, 1959. According to this the rule of law implies that the function of the Government in a free society should be so exercised as to create condition in which dignity of man as an individual is upheld.

“Rule of Law” is to be understood neither as a “rule” nor a “law”. It is generally understood as a doctrine of “state
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