Why Is Rule of Law Important in a Democracy


    Kinsella: In terms of scientific integrity – respect for the role of independent and impartial scientific expertise in government policy – we have really seen a breakdown in the rule of law. A common feature of democracy and the rule of law is that a purely institutional approach says nothing about the actual results of processes and procedures, even if they are formally correct. In addressing the relationship between the rule of law and democracy, a fundamental distinction must be made between the “rule of law”, where the law is an instrument of government and government is above the law, and the “rule of law”, which implies that everyone in society is bound by the law. including the government. Essentially, constitutional limitations on power, an essential feature of democracy, require respect for the rule of law. International Bridges to Justice promotes the rule of law worldwide by promoting timely access to defendants, working with governments to create best practice laws, raising awareness of fundamental rights and protection within a system, and training defense lawyers for effective representation. In addition, International Bridges to Justice is at the forefront of the implementation of SDG 16, particularly in the Access to Justice component. IBJ`s work to strengthen the rule of law around the world has inherently strengthened democracy. High-quality democracy requires a truly democratic rule of law that guarantees political rights, civil liberties and accountability mechanisms, which in turn affirm the political equality of all citizens and limit potential abuses of state power. How to conceptualize the democratic rule of law (estado democrático de derecho, rule of law) and, as far as possible, measure empirically? By looking at a number of variables within the rule of law, we can understand what makes it effective and how it relates to other aspects of the performance of democratic countries.

    This essay focuses on contemporary Latin America (especially Argentina and Brazil), where democratic regimes at the national level often coexist effectively with non-democratic subnational regimes – called “brown zones.” Previously, I viewed democracy and the rule of law as separate and overlapping concepts. This task allowed me to think much more deeply about how the two concepts are completely interdependent. IBJ`s work to promote the rule of law is essential to promoting democracy around the world. I am convinced that the research I have conducted can be useful in advancing this mission. During the negotiations on the General Assembly Declaration on the Rule of Law, some Member States stressed the need for the international community to provide assistance and support at the request of countries emerging from conflict or in the process of democratization, as it does to address the legacy of human rights violations during their transition and transition to democratic and democratic governance. The rule of law could face particular challenges. Finally, the concept was reformulated in paragraph 18, referring only to the specific challenges of the transition, without mentioning democratization. However, this debate has shown that there is a growing awareness of the importance of building on the experience of the last 30 years, especially in the Global South, with multiple and often simultaneous transitions – from war to peace, from command to market economy, from autocratic systems to democratic systems – in order to support local democratisation processes. Tell the class that you will create a working definition of the rule of law, a concept that dates back to ancient times. First, ask students to share ideas and information about the rule of law.

    Students can better understand the importance of the rule of law in a democracy by examining how it is valued and challenged in different countries around the world. They could begin their investigation by examining the World Justice Project`s Rule of Law Index. (The “View Tour” option on the site is a great place to start.) Examining the criteria according to which the WJP ranks countries and the results of their assessment can lead to a better understanding of the rule of law as a principle and in everyday life. I would like to point out that, according to the current case law of the Court of Justice – even if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed – I cannot think of a single provision of H.R. 1 that should not be maintained, even under very original or limited case law. But the court is also supposed to be an essential accountability mechanism – it decides not only on the constitutionality of various safeguards, but also on their application. The future of our democracy will therefore depend on a court that considers the protection of democracy as one of its fundamental tasks. This is something we should take into account when we think about affirming a new justice.

    Kinsella: It is important to talk about the rule of law and impartial justice and what it means when the president or other members of the government put their thumbs in the balance, order prosecutions or order people in the Department of Justice not to take certain actions in law enforcement and investigations. We`ve seen a lot of political interference in high-profile Justice Department cases under the Trump administration — the case of Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, not to mention the White House`s attempts to shut down the Mueller investigation. Efforts like these have undermined the Justice Department`s independence from political interference. The laws of a democracy can have many sources: written constitutions; laws and ordinances; religious and ethical teachings; and cultural traditions and practices. Regardless of origin, the law should enshrine certain provisions to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens: Optionally, share the four fundamental principles of the rule of law as defined by the World Justice Project, which measures respect for the rule of law in countries around the world1: The rule of law is closely linked to the ideals of democracy. A democratic state governed by the rule of law is one where citizens elect their own leaders, and the government itself is bound by the law while helping to ensure that the law is respected by the state`s citizens. Democracy cannot exist without the rule of law, particularly without the rule of who should hold public office in the light of the results of elections. However, it is not enough to support the rule of law during a single election season. Democratic stability depends on a self-binding balance.

    In other words, politicians must respect the limits of their actions in a democracy, especially with regard to citizens` rights. Institutions that support each other and do not function on the basis of the individuality of individual actors are powerful actors that stabilize this balance. In a stable and autonomous institution, all conflicts are resolved according to institutional rules, and thus the rule of law stabilizes democratic society. The rule of law in a democratic institution allows governments to impose their will through general laws and then be subject to that legislation themselves. The American democratic system is not always based on the simple majority rule. Certain principles are so important to the nation that the majority has agreed not to interfere in these areas. For example, the Bill of Rights was adopted because concepts such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, equal treatment and due process were considered so important that even a majority should not be allowed to change them. Martha Kinsella: There has been an erosion of standards, unwritten rules and practices in various areas of government, including the Department of Justice.

    It`s older than the Trump administration. There have already been abuses, such as Watergate and the scandal of firing US prosecutors under the George W. Bush administration. But there has been a marked acceleration in the number and scale of abuses during the current administration. To remedy this situation, we need to do more than simply restore standards that were not written before. We really need to codify them — really give them the force of law — in many different areas, from the rule of law to ethics, to the human resource process and the role of science in public policy. Simply put, democracy focuses on how societies select those who hold power, while the rule of law deals with how political power is exercised. The underlying premise of the rule of law implies that every citizen is subject to the law and accountable, including legislators and those in government positions. In this sense, the rule of law seems to promote governance through democracy created for and by the people, just as it stands in stark contrast to the concepts of dictatorship, autocracy and oligarchy, in which those in positions of power and government regulate their affairs outside and outside the scope of the law. In the true sense of the word, the rule of law is called “nomocracy,” derived from the Greek nomos (law) and kratos (rule).