to law and not arbitrarily; that the supremacy of the Courts be upheld, to fully securethe judicial control of Administrative Law. According to Prof. Goodhart,
the essence of
"Rule of law"
is that "public officers aregoverned by law, which limits their powers. It means government under law²thesupremacy of law over the government is distinct from government by law²the meresupremacy of law in society generally which would apply also, to totalitarian States."To put it in short, "Rule of Law" implies a state of affairs, where there is absence of arbitrary powers, where law is observed by everyone including the Government andits officers, where the action of the administration is backed by law, where every manis equal before law and assured that he will not be punished except for violation of law, where cases relating to violation of law or disputes as to rights and duties, aredecided by impartial and independent Courts or Tribunals.
WADE¶S INTERPRETATION OF RULE OF LAW
ade & Forsyth,
assign four meanings to "rule of law". Its
is that"everything must be done according to law". It requires that every governmentauthority must be able to justify its action as authorized by law. And, that the affectedperson may always resort to the Court of law and if the legal pedigree is not found tobe perfectly in order, the Court will invalidate the act. It is called
the principle of legality.
"rule of law"
means that "government should be conducted within aframework of recognized rules and principles which restrict discretionary power." It isthe
of the rule of law, say the learned writers. They refer toEdward Coke's description of "rule of law" as
"the golden and straight metwand of law, asopposed to the uncertain and crooked cord of discretion."
third meaning of "rule of law",
a corollary drawn from its first meaning,
ade &Forsyth say, is that disputes as to the legality of acts of government, are to bedecided by Judges who are independent of the Executive. The right to carry adispute with the government before the ordinary Courts, manned by Judges of the
Prof. A.L. Goodhart, The Rule of Law and Absolute Sovereignty, 106 UPLR, (1958), 943.
See also K.C. Davis,
Administrative Law, 2007, 20-24.
Sir Edward Coke was the Chief Justice in the Court of James I. He was credited with being the originator of theconcept of
rule of law.