Rule of Law – 2

‘I do not like blogging. It is most certainly not my thing.’ This is probably the thought that has come into my head the most as I try and plough through website after website, document after document, trying to get my head around the rule of law and its importance to the liberal democratic world order.
This week I began my in depth research, going through the dozen or so websites that were provided to me by my supervisor from the Rule of Law Institute. Each website provides various examples of the rule of law not being followed around the world. I feel I am getting sucked into a world in which I am going to become very frustrated with the way things are done, or in this case, not done.
I think it is important for this blog that I explain the basic principles of the rule of law. There are four basic principles that compromise the rule of law according to the World Justice Project (this website provided me with the best and probably the simplest description, so it is a good starting point). These four points are as follows:
1. Accountability
The government as well as private actors are accountable under the law.
2. Just Laws
The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights.
3. Open Government
The processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced are accessible, fair, and efficient.
4. Accessible & Impartial Dispute Resolution
Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are accessible, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
These four principles together constitute working definition of the rule of law, developed in accordance with internationally accepted standards and norms. From these principles, I was able to quickly grasp the basic idea of the rule of law and begin to look at its implementation around the world. Now that I have gotten a basic grasp on the idea of the rule of law, it is now time to begin an analysis of the state of the rule of law world wide, focussing on Poland, the Philippines, China and the USA.