The concept of the rule of law is that the law applies to everyone equally.


The rule of law includes that:


  • The people (including the government) should be ruled by the law and obey it;
  • The law should be such that the people should be able and willing to be guided by it.


In its simplest form it means that no one is 'above the law'. It is the foundation for the development of peaceful, equitable and prosperous societies.


Key principles that underpin the rule of law are:


  • Fairness: it is fair that in the legal system, the law applies to everyone, government and citizen.
  • Rationality: laws need to be rational. It is against the rule of law to create a law that cannot be followed.
  • Predictability: the laws that an individual must abide by are known along with what the likely outcome is if these laws are broken.
  • Consistency: Not only does the law apply to everyone, it applies to everyone in the same way.
  • Impartiality: an impartial judiciary must be separated from the other arms of government (the legislature and the executive) so that judges can make decisions based on the merits of the case before them without pressure or negative repercussions from the government.


The rule of law provides a valid basis for fundamental human rights including the right to life and the right to liberty and security.


Source: The Rule of Law Institute of Australia


The information in this article has been taken from several reliable sources but does not necessarily reflect the views of UBT.  No short article can cover a topic completely; it is not intended that you should rely on this information for business decisions.