Law is the set of rules and regulations by which a society is governed to maintain peace and orderliness. The rule of law means the supremacy of law over the citizens in a country. The equality of every citizen before the law and the presence of individual rights.
A.V. Dicey propounded the doctrine that leaders should abide by the rule of law and govern the people according to the provision of the constitution of the country.
PRINCIPLES / FEATURES OF RULE OF LAW
The rule of law has the following principle as explained by Prof. A.V. Dicey
- PRINCIPLE OF EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW: There is no citizens that is above the law. The law should apply to all with respect for person and without respect for person. Hence, all citizens should be equal before the law.
- PRINCIPLE OF INPARTIALITY: These includes that suspects should not be detained for more than twenty – four hours. An offender should still be innocent until he is proved guity by the process in the court.
- THE PRINCIPLES OF SUPREMACY: Nobody is above the law of supremacy over all.
- PRINCIPLES OF FAIR HEARING: People arrested for an offence should be given fair hearing through formal legal process in the court before condemned or sentence to jail.
- RIGHT OF APPEAL: When a lower court’s judgment on an individual is not satisfied, he should appeal in a higher court.
- FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT: The right of individual should be enthrenched in the constitution enforced and guaranteed.
BENEFITS OF THE RULE OF LAW OVER ARBITARY RULE
- It protects citizens against arbitrary rule: Rule of law ensures that citizens have access to seek re-dress in court when they feel cheated or their right is infringed upon.
- Guarantees the fundamental human right: It makes every citizen enjoy the fundamental human rights as stated in the constitution.
- Ensures process freedom: Journalist have freedom (though not without limits) to express views about government policies and how they affect the masses. This freedom leaves journalist unpunished for pointing out areas where government is not performing.
- Prevent unlawful detention: No person should be detained beyond 24hours before trial in court. Individuals can see government and its agents for unlawful arrest or detention.
- Allows for equality of all citizens: Under the rule of law, there is no sacred cow. The law applies to all and all citizens are equal before the law.
- Give rooms for appeal: When judgement given by a lower court is not satisfactory, rule of law gives room for appeal to a higher court.