A Concise Guide to the Rule of Law
Brian Z. Tamanaha
Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law
FLORENCE WORKSHOP ON THE RULE OF LAW, Neil Walker, Gianluigi Palombella, eds., Hart Publishing Company, 2007
St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-0082
To be published as a Chapter in "Florence Workshop on The Rule of Law," edited by Neil Walker and Gianluigi Palombella, Hart Publishing Company, forthcoming 2008.
This paper provides a brief overview of core aspects of the rule of law. It is by no means exhaustive on the subject and does not resolve any of the hard questions. Rather, it is a pragmatic guide to the basic issues, oriented to the circumstances and concerns of societies that are working to develop the rule of law (although the discussion applies broadly to all societies and legal systems). The topics covered are: Definition, Functions, Benefits, Elements. Several key points are made about each subject, followed by comments on limitations or concerns. The overview closes with a few reasons to be wary of the rule of law.
This paper should be useful for non-theorists interested in learning about the rule of law, and may serve as supplemental reading material for classes on government or on law and development.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Date posted: September 13, 2007