Virtual Kollage: The conditions necessary for Rule of Law to operate

Posted by / Monday, 19 December 2016 / No comments

The conditions necessary for Rule of Law to operate



CONDITIONS FOR RULE OF LAW TO OPERATE
Definition
Rule of law has two definitions, the classical meaning as proposed by A. V. Dicey and the modern definition by the New Delhi declaration in 1959 at a meeting of the International Commission of Jurists.

According to A. V. Dicey, in his classical opinion, Rule of Law means the law is supreme. In other words, the law is the highest authority of the land in the absence of which nothing else can prevail. For example, the law does not reside in the bosom of anybody.

The contemporary definition, as developed by the International Commission of Jurists states that it is the conditions, structures, institutions, processes and procedures that must exist so that the individual can enjoy his life in dignity, security and prosperity.

CONDITIONS FOR RULE OF LAW
Judiciary must be independent
One of the conditions that can make it possible for rule of Law to operate is the existence of an independent and impartial judiciary. This way the courts cannot influenced in anyway by governments, persons or groups of persons. The freedom of the judiciary will definitely enhance Rule of Law.

Free legal aid
Another condition that can make Rule of Law thrive is the provision of legal aid to the people in need of it. There are some citizens who are so poor that they cannot afford to pay the fees to the lawyers that represent them in court. Such citizens can resort to the use of the legal aid that is freely provided by the state or groups of lawyers.

Availability of social and economic facilities
Another condition for Rule of Law to flourish is the existence of social and economic facilities. These facilities must be provided by the state for the citizens to enjoy. Such social and economic facilities must include, health, education, public toilets at vantage points, etc.

A tolerant government
For Rule of Law to thrive, the government of the day must be tolerant of divergent views in the society. In other words, the citizens must be free to express their opinion on a wide rage of issues without the fear of being victimized by state apparatus.

Well informed citizens
Rule of Law can operate very well when the citizens of the land are aware about their rights and obligations. This calls for a highly enlightened citizenry. It is the only way the citizens can know whether their rights are being trampled upon or not. If the citizens are not aware about their rights, how can they know if those rights are being violated or not?

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Give the classical and the contemporary meaning of Rule of Law.
    b. Highlight four conditions that must exist in a country before Rule of Law can operate properly.

2. Explain five conditions that are deemed to be necessary before Rule of Law can operate well.

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