» N.S. Books
September 27th, 1998.
"The Rule of Law."
The law,1 whatever that maybe, is there for all to obey, including those in government. The rule of law is a doctrine which is derived from theories of natural law. In English law, The Rule of Law is a concept which has been used as a mechanism to control government power; it is a tool used exclusively by the courts.
I quote the definition given by one of the most respected constitutional jurists, ever: Albert Venn Dicey (1835-1922):
"... every official, from the Prime Minister down to a constable or a collector of taxes, is under the same responsibility for every act done without legal justification as any other citizen. The Reports abound with cases in which officials have been brought before the courts, and made, in their personal capacity, liable to punishment, or to the payment of damages, for acts done in their official character but in excess of their lawful authority. [Appointed government officials and politicians, alike] ... and all subordinates, though carrying out the commands of their official superiors, are as responsible for any act which the law does not authorise as is any private and unofficial person." (Law of the Constitution.)
1 There are two different kinds of man made law: common law and legislation.
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September, 1998 (2011)