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The rule of law

Lord Bingham outlined eight hallmark principles by which the Rule of Law can be measured. No society meets the full rigour of all of these requirements but this is an aspiration that all societies should strive towards.

  1. The law must be accessible, intelligible, clear and predictable.
  2. Questions of legal right and liability should ordinarily be resolved by the exercise of the law and not the exercise of discretion.
  3. Laws should apply equally to all.
  4. Ministers and public officials must exercise the powers conferred in good faith, fairly, for the purposes for which they were conferred – reasonably and without exceeding the limits of such powers.
  5. The law must afford adequate protection of fundamental human rights.
  6. The state must provide a way of resolving disputes which the parties cannot themselves resolve.
  7. The adjudicative procedures provided by the state should be fair.
  8. The Rule of Law requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international as well as national laws.

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