The Rule of Law and Its Importance

Generally, law is a system that governs human behavior, which can be either good or bad. Its primary purpose is to protect people from harm. There are many forms of law, each with a different set of functions. The legal system is an important component of governance, which integrates other ideals, such as liberty, human rights, and dignity.

Human rights component

Historically, human rights have their roots in both national and international legal processes. This includes the creation of various institutions and practices. The United Nations has expanded the scope of human rights law over time. It now includes specific standards for women, children, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.

Since the Second World War, significant advances have been made in expanding the normative reach of international human rights law. One example of this is the creation of international criminal tribunals. The International Criminal Court, for example, was established in 1998.

Presumption of human dignity

Several constitutional and international human rights conventions mention human dignity, and it is frequently regarded as the bedrock of a just society. This foundational principle is also a legal-ethical foundation of contemporary states, and many important jurisprudence is written and promulgated in its wake.

The formal and functional distinctions between human dignity and other less formal concepts is well known. Some of these distinctions are the simplest, while others are more sophisticated. A related question is how does human dignity translate into actual governance?

Formal aspects of governance by law

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Integration of the Rule of Law with other ideals

Throughout the history of political thought, the Rule of Law has been a key ideal for many political thinkers. It is one of several ideals that form part of a liberal political morality. These values include democracy, social justice, economic freedom, and human rights.

Although the ideal of Rule of Law has been revered by many thinkers, there are disagreements about its substantive aspects. Some argue that Rule of Law is a purely formal ideal, while others argue that the rule of law must involve substantive values such as the protection of private property.