Rule of Law – Project Rationale

When I began this project at the start of the semester, I was a little lost as to what I was going to do and who I was going to work with. Having only moved to Sydney this year from Western Australia and not knowing any non-for-profit or community organisations I was quickly extremely concerned with how I was going to progress with this course. After doing some research, which included a lot of googling ‘non-for-profit organisations Sydney,’ I stumbled across the Rule of Law Institute, an organisation I knew nothing about. I didn’t know whether they needed any help, let alone what my project would be should they consent to my volunteering for their organisation.
This project provided myself with an invaluable experience. The Rule of Law Institute of Australia serves a vital and important role in promoting civic education and an understanding of the rule of law for the youth of Australia. My project was based on providing the Rule of Law Institute with my most valuable asset, and the asset they lacked, time. The few staff at the Rule of Law Institute are too busy to be able to take time out of their days to focus on reading multiple articles, reports, periodicals and laws. I filled this void and did the research that was necessary for those working at the Rule of Law Institute to write an article for the journal LexisNexis.
The research project I embarked on was focussed on gathering the background information on the state of the rule of law in Hungary, Poland, the Philippines and Australia. Although this project was extremely conventional in an academic context and lacked the creativity of some of the other projects, it provided me with the skills necessary to work in a research institution or think tank in both Australia and beyond. To know that the research I compiled on the rule of law was going to serve a purpose in an academic journal was extremely fulfilling, Furthermore, before embarking upon the research I first had to learn about the rule of law itself, what it is, where it comes from, what constitutes it.
The significance of this project is where its importance is realized. Firstly, the project allowed for the Rule of Law Institute to continue focussing their work on their civic education projects and to continue spreading the rule of law. Secondly, the project will directly contribute to the understanding of the state of the rule of law globally, something that is in crisis. This project will allow for continued intellectual debate and has directly contributed to the development of the scholarship on the rule of law. Finally, and most importantly, it serves a purpose of delving into the role of the rule of law in Australia and how the Institute can mould its education and lobbying to those areas that need most attention within Australia. In my research, I found that there is an immense amount of complacency towards the rule of law in Australia, and this leaves the Australian public open to rights violations and exploitation by the government and our legal system. There appears to be a great need for rule of law academic work in Australia given this complacency, as it is only through academic work that support for the Rule of Law Institute can be developed and grow. Through my contribution to this journal article, hopefully this will be addressed in some regard, especially given the focus I placed on the anti-terror legislation that is extremely dangerous to the Australian public.
My research project has been extremely valuable, to my own personal growth as a junior historian, to the development of the rule of law in Australia, and to the Rule of Law Institute. Most importantly, it has been a tremendous and valuable learning experience, both in the information I learnt about the state of the rule of law but also in the opportunities there are beyond the realm of academia for historians.
I encourage anyone reading this to read about the Rule of Law Institute and all the vital work they do.

Rule of Law Institute of Australia