Rule of Law defined and applied

Author: Leon Louw

Date: 12 September 2012

The central concept of the rule of law is captured in, for example, the American Declaration of Independence as “A government of laws and not of men”. In modern gender-neutral terms we’d say “rule by law, not individuals”. The idea is that rights and obligations should be determined by laws that (a) are made by legitimate means, especially in accordance with the separation of powers, (b) are transparent and readily knowable in advance, (c) comply with disclosed objective criteria, (d) have clearly defined objectives, and (e) are enforced with a high degree of certainty and consistency.

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The Rule of Law Project is an initiative of the Free Market Foundation (www.freemarketfoundation.com) and is dedicated to giving substance to section 1(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which provides for the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.