rule of law

The traditional legal concept, dating back as far as Aristotle, that we live under a set of predetermined rules rather than the arbitrary “wise guidance” of any contemporary judge, King or chief executive. Does not necessarily imply democratic or just rule, but simply stable government where the law is proclaimed, followed, and applied equally to all. Term derived by 19th century British jurist A.C. Dicey. All people are subject equally to the privileges and penalties of the law. The people are ruled by laws and not by individuals. (both the judiciary and the executive are to act only according to law rather than to their own beliefs of what is justice) The law shall be prospective, visible, clear, predictable, and relatively stable. Due process must be afforded to all those before the law (following the letter and procedures of the law).