The Rule of Law

an unspoken but fundamental bargain between the individual and the state, the governed and the governor, by which both sacrifice a measure of freedom and power which they would otherwise enjoy.

Lord Bingham’s eight principles of the rule of law:

  1. The law has to be accessible – intelligible, clear and predictable
  2. Legal rights and liabilities should ordinarily be resolved by law and not discretion
  3. The law should apply equally to all except to the extent that objective differences justify otherwise
  4. The law must afford adequate protection of fundamental human rights
  5. There must be means to resolve, without prohibitive cost or inordinate delay, bona fide civil disputes which the parties are unable to resolve
  6. Ministers and public officers at all levels must exercise their powers reasonably, in good faith, for the purpose for which the powers were conferred and without exceeding the limits of such powers
  7. Adjudicative procedures should be fair
  8. The state must comply with its obligations under international law.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill 1933 – 2010

Obituaries of note can be found inĀ the Guardian & UK Supreme Court blog.