Rule of law

doctrine that advocates that every citizen, including those in government, is subject to the law

Rule of law is a legal maxim that suggests that no one is above the law and governmental decisions must be made only by applying known legal and moral principles.[1] The Rule of Law limits the powers of Government by judicial defense of laws and the Constitution which is based on recognized basic legal values, established in international law. The Rule of Law is meant to prevent dictatorship and to protect the rights of the people.

The rule of law is especially important as an influence on the economic development in developing and transitional countries.[2] Constitutional economics is the study of government spending, which, in many transitional and developing countries, is completely controlled by the executive. The standards of constitutional economics can be used during annual budget process. The availability of an effective court system, to be used by the civil society in courts in situations of unfair governmental distribution of national money is a key element for the success of the rule-of-law in developing countries.[3]

To date, the term “rule of law” has been used primarily in the English-speaking countries. The originally German doctrine of Rechtsstaat is similar, and has been translated into other languages of continental Europe as État de droit (Fr.), Estado de derecho (Sp.), Stato di diritto (It.), and Правовое государство (Ru.). Rechsstaat can be translated into English as “legal state” or "constitutional state". [4]

Rule of law is also a main purpose of Council of Europe for solidarity and international peace.

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  1. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, page 1196 (West Publishing Company 1979).
  2. Luis Flores Ballesteros. "Corruption and development. Does the “rule of law” factor weigh more than we think?" 54 Pesos May. 2008:54 Pesos 15 Nov 2008. < Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine>
  3. Mohammad Amin & Jamal Haidar, 2012. "The cost of registering property: does legal origin matter?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 1035-1050, June
  4. Peter Barenboim, Natalya Merkulova. "The 25th Anniversary of Constitutional Economics: The Russian Model and Legal Reform in Russia, in The World Rule of Law Movement and Russian Legal Reform Archived 2020-09-12 at the Wayback Machine", edited by Francis Neate and Holly Nielsen, Justitsinform, Moscow (2007).

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