Meaning of rule of law

What is the rule of law:

The rule of law is understood to be the form of political organization in which social life is subject, which through a legal framework executes a set of regulations in order to guarantee the principle of legality and the fundamental rights of all citizens. .

The rule of law is made up of the State, which represents the political organization, and the law, which is the set of rules on which the behavior of society is governed.

Therefore, each decision that is taken, from the different organs or public entities of the State, must be governed by the law and respect the rights of all citizens.

That is, the power of the State is limited by law, this in order to avoid abuses of power or violation of rights.

However, it should be noted that the rule of law was born as a counterpart of the authoritarian and absolutist state, in which there are abuses of power and there are various examples that demonstrate this throughout the political history of many governments.

Nor does the rule of law exist when the Legislative Power acts from a partisan position or, when the Executive Power also wishes to act from a personal perspective, violating the legislation and generating disagreement in the citizenry.

Now, thanks to the existence of the rule of law, the political organization could be configured and divided into powers: the Legislative Power, the Judicial Power and the Executive Power.

The rule of law is also the reflection of what the citizens want, since the people have the right and the power to choose, through the vote, who will be their representatives within the government.

In a democracy, the Executive Power is exercised by a person, elected by the citizens, who must comply with the assigned responsibilities and make decisions to the extent permitted by law, together with the other two regulatory powers, such as the Legislative and Judicial.

See also the meanings of State and Division of powers.

Characteristics of the rule of law

Every rule of law must be based on the principle of legitimacy of the rights of citizens, that is, promoting the value of equality and dignity of all people through actions and State policies.

Hence, the rule of law is characterized by having the following pillars to base its importance in the political order of a country. Among them:

  • The legal system must be established democratically and without abuse of power.
  • The division of powers of the State into executive, judicial and legislative, allows the elaboration of work plans based on the political and social development of a country.
  • All those individuals that make up the government, public entities and bodies, and public administration, must act according to the limits established by law and regulated through the Judiciary.
  • The fundamental rights of man must be guaranteed through a series of regulations created in order to safeguard the civil and individual rights of people.
  • The application and enforcement of the law must be the same for all citizens, whether they are public officials or not, and regardless of the political position assigned to them. All citizens have the same rights and duties equally.
  • Democracy, as a method of government, allows the people to decide who will be their representatives through the right to vote.

However, even in democracy, unfortunately, abuses of power continue to be generated in which the rule of law is relegated by corruption and violation of rights.

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