What Is the Rule of Law and Why Is It So Important?

  • Mortimer SellersEmail author


A state governed by the rule of law describes a state where both private and public powers are removed from the administration of justice and are regulated by law. The rule of law serves the public good of the community as a whole. It is a system where laws rule and not men. The law determines what is necessary in a society to prevent domination and oppression and to promote the common good. As people seek justice through law, the rule of law comes at first from men itself, because men obey rules they believe to be just and arise against ones they consider unjust. The value of the rule of law lies in the fact that it prevents arbitrary judgments, secures justice, and prevents tyranny and oppression. It limits the power of those who have authority. The government must first control the people and then it must be obliged to control itself. It must therefore be stable and constitutional and it can therefore be implied that some states are not ready to implement the rule of law, because the governments cannot be trusted. The author argues that the most important step towards the rule of law is when judges are independent of executive and legislative powers. Constant attention to the combination of powers in a state is required, because only in this way can laws be created for the common good. Law must be separated from arbitrary power.


Public Official Common Good Private Interest Representative Government Public Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University System of MarylandAdelphiUSA
  2. 2.Center for International and Comparative LawUniversity of BaltimoreBaltimoreUSA

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