The Importance Of The Rule Of Law Essay example

The Importance Of The Rule Of Law Essay example

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Critically assess the importance of the rule of law in the UK constitution

The rule of law, simply put, is a principle that no one is above the law. This means that there should be no leniency for a person because of peerage, sex, religion or financial standing. England and Wales do not have a written constitution therefore the Rule of Law, which along with the parliamentary Sovereignty was regarded by legal analyst A.C Dicey, as the pillars of the UK Constitution. The Rule of Law was said to be adopted as the “unwritten constitution of Great Britain”.
Although there are many more modern conceptions of the rule of law, I will begin by speaking about A.C Dicey’s conception of the Rule of Law (ROL). Dicey developed three well known principles to explain how the ROL functions.
The first principle can be summarised to ‘no man is punishable or can be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land.’ What this essentially means is that no one can punished unless it is through the courts and they determine whether the law was breached.
Dicey’s second principle of ROL concerns equality; “every man whatever be his rank or condition is subject to the ordinary law of the realm and amendable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals” This conception is primarily concerned with the access to courts and not the laws which individuals find when they get there. Although it is true that Dicey was explicitly against officials being accorded any special privileges, the second principle does not take this into consideration much. He showed little concern with the role of law in deciding whether different rules applicable to different...


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...an advantage of the ROL as it is again promoting equality and is being fair.
Perhaps another vital aspect of the ROL is that judges are meant to unbiased completely. In the UK this has always been under immense pressure. Traditionally, the main concern about the effectiveness of the judicial independence focused on the appointment process. While that was controlled by prime minister and lord chancellor and so long as the Lord Chancellor 's office fused the roles of head of the judiciary and cabinet minister, judicial independence always appear to be a constitutional fiction.

I feel that the ROL is not being adapted in the UKs constitution. The separation of powers and Laws which are giving MPs immunity are not in accordance to the ROL, in Dicey’s interpretation at least. So I can reasonably say that the UK, and the parliament in particular do not follow the ROL.

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