PV-07: Rule of Law
Democracies work with the rule of law: all laws provide justice that is available to everyone. Laws are agreed in an elected legislative body, but are administered by an independent judicial system, which is appointed and operates without interference from the law-making bodies or the government. Everyone is subject to the same laws.
Why it is important in context of inclusive citizenship education?
One of the principles of a democracy is that law provides justice for everyone, and that laws, both criminal and civil, are made by a body that is elected specifically to do this, not by the government except under the control of the legislature. Interference in the system of law is corrupt, and incompatible with democratic norms, The laws, once made, are applied by an independent judiciary – which is not appointed by politicians, and which administers the law without interference. People cannot be imprisoned or punished without the due process of law. Laws apply to everyone, including members of the government, the judiciary, the legislature and political bodies. Everyone should have access to the courts of law.
Context, issues, processes
The ‘rule of law’ is a principle that holds that all the citizens and residents of a state have the protection of laws that are made by a legislature and which apply to everyone. People are otherwise at liberty. The rule of law means that every person is subject to the same law – including law-makers, law officers and judges, and members of the government.
Laws are public, everyone should have access to the legal system, and legal processes must be carried out before anyone is held to have broken the law and to be punished for this.
Modern states have laws that provide everyone with justice and that are democratically made and that equally apply to everyone in the state. No one is above the law, and the processes of the law is applied fairly to all citizens, without exception.