rule of law

rule of law
rule of law
1: an authoritative legal doctrine, principle, or precept applied to the facts of an appropriate case
adopting the rule of law that is most persuasive in light of precedent, reason and policyWright v. Wright, 904 P.2d 403 (1995)
2: government by law: adherence to due process of law

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

rule of law
The belief that a court should make decisions by applying laws or legal and equitable principles to a matter without using discretion in their interpretation and application; also called supremacy of law.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

rule of law
everyone acts under the law. A phrase as old as Aristotle, it has a special meaning in the constitutional law of the UK and in relation to discussions of law and politics everywhere. Perhaps the most practically useful sense in which the doctrine is applied is to demand that the executive must be acting under the law. But even then this authority need not be explicit in a state where everyone is free to do anything unless it is prohibited. In another sense it reflects the view that there is a higher law than that of the government. In the UK no parliament can bind its successor, and it is difficult to see the doctrine operating in this sense, although the supremacy of the law of the European Union has given such a view renewed prominence. The significance of the doctrine in modern times is probably because of the writings of Dicey, who considered that the rule of law involved three issues:
(1) the absence of arbitrary power;
(2) equality before the law; and
(3) liberties and constitutional law generally are the result of law and law made in the courts.
The phrase still has a rhetorical significance, but it is arguable that its technical significance has been overshadowed by the notion of fundamental law or human rights.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

rule of law
n. A substantive legal principle; the prevailing of regular power rather than arbitrary power; the principle that all citizens are subject to the judicial decisions in their states as well as those of the courts of the United States, and that such decisions are the result of constitutional principles.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

rule of law
Rule according to law; rule under law; or rule according to a higher law.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

rule of law
Rule according to law; rule under law; or rule according to a higher law.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

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  • rule of law —    In a free society, there is a concern to maintain human liberty in the face of increasing state activity. The problem is how on the one hand to provide powers for those in government to operate effectively, yet on the other hand to ensure that …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

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