- Ian LovelandIan LovelandProfessor of Public Law, City, University of London
This chapter examines the various meanings that the ‘rule of law’ principle has been accorded in Britain’s post-revolutionary constitution. The chapter suggests that the idea of the ‘rule of law’ may be viewed as a vehicle for expressing ‘the people’s’ preferences about two essentially political issues. The first relates to the substance of the relationship between citizens and government. The second is concerned with the processes through which that relationship is conducted. More simply, the rule of law is concerned with what government can do—and how government can do it. This chapter analyses both the way in which the courts have addressed these issues in a series of seminal judgments, and also explores various critiques of the idea of the rule of law and the role it plays in the modern British constitution offered by legal theorists from the left, right, and centre of the mainstream political spectrum.