A Citizen's Guide to the Rule of Law

in Peter L Biro (ed), Constitutional Democracy under Stress: A Time for Heroic Citizenship (Mosaic Press, 2020) 104

24 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020

Date Written: July 20, 2020

Abstract

This chapter sets out, for both a generalist and a legally trained readership, the basic contours of the Rule of Law as a legal and political ideal, with a special focus on the ways in which ideal is understood and implemented in the Canadian legal system. It begins by explaining why law is necessary, and why it must bind both government and individuals. A review of three key themes around which the understanding of the Rule of Law is often organized in scholarship follows. The first of these themes is the form that the law, especially legislation, takes. The second is the process by which law is made and enforced by legislatures, the courts, and the administrative state. The third is the possibility that the Rule of Law may impose constraints on the substance of the laws, especially in order to protect fundamental individual rights. The chapter concludes by arguing that adherence to the Rule of Law is the only way in which the exercise of power can be contained and the arbitrariness inherent in it in the absence of law can be counteracted.

Keywords: Canada, Rule of Law

Suggested Citation

Sirota, Leonid, A Citizen's Guide to the Rule of Law (July 20, 2020). in Peter L Biro (ed), Constitutional Democracy under Stress: A Time for Heroic Citizenship (Mosaic Press, 2020) 104, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3656775

Leonid Sirota (Contact Author)

School of Law ( email )

Foxhill House
Whiteknights Campus
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6BA
United Kingdom

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