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Public Law Directions

Public Law Directions (2nd edn)

Anne Dennett
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date: 01 December 2023

p. 1668. Rule of lawlocked

p. 1668. Rule of lawlocked

  • Anne DennettAnne DennettSenior Lecturer, University of Lincoln


This chapter assesses the rule of law. The rule of law is a constitutional value or principle which measures good governance, fair law-making, and applying law in a just way. It acts as a protecting mechanism by preventing state officials from acting unfairly, unlawfully, arbitrarily, or oppressively. These are also key terms in judicial review. The rule of law is also regarded as an external measure for what a state does; if the rule of law breaks down in a state, it will fail to function in an internationally acceptable way. Ultimately, the core meaning of the rule of law is that the law binds everyone. This includes those in government, who must obey the law. Moreover, any action taken by the government must be authorised by law, that is, government needs lawful authority to act.

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