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Liberty IntactHuman Rights in English Law$
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Michael Tugendhat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.001.0001

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The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

(p.49) 4 The Rule of Law
Liberty Intact

Michael Tugendhat

Oxford University Press

Many Declarations of rights expressly or impliedly refer to the rule of law. Even narrow definitions of the rule of law require access to impartial justice, but the rule of law requires protection of all human rights. Human rights address the loss of an agreed view of divine law. Democracy requires human rights and the rule of law, and that ordinary people internalize the need for respect for rights. Blackstone and English law recognized that. English law requires the rule of law and an independent judiciary. Aspects of the rule of law include the following. Legality: public officials must act in accordance with law, and the law must be enforced. Certainty: law must be accessible, foreseeable, clear and precise, and not retroactive, and litigation must lead to finality. Arbitrariness: discretionary powers must be exercised fairly and reasonably. Public officials should be accountable, including in court.

Keywords:   rule of law, access to justice, democracy, legality, certainty, discretionary powers, accountability, British Empire

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