Studies have shown that weak rule of law (e.g. discretionary application) discourages investment. Economists have found, for example, that an increase in discretionary enforcement of regulations has led U.S. companies to abandon international investment.  Most legal theorists believe that the rule of law has purely formal characteristics. For example, these theorists argue that the law requires generality (general rules that apply to categories of persons and behaviours as opposed to individuals), publicity (no secret laws), prospective application (few or no retroactive laws), consistency (no conflicting laws), equality (equally applied throughout society), and security (certainty of application to a particular situation). But formalists say there are no requirements regarding the content of the law. Others, including some legal theorists, believe that the rule of law necessarily implies the protection of individual rights. In legal theory, these two approaches to the rule of law are considered the two fundamental alternatives or called formal and substantive approaches. However, there are other points of view.
Some believe that democracy is part of the rule of law.  Since 1950, India has governed the longest constitutional text in the history of the world. Although the Indian constitution would eventually have to contain details that would limit the possibilities of judicial discretion, the more text there is in a constitution, the more possibilities the judiciary may have to exercise judicial review.  According to Indian journalist Harish Khare, “the rule of law or the constitution risks being replaced by the rule of judges.”  In 1215, Archbishop Stephen Langton rounded up the barons in England and forced King John and future rulers and magistrates back under the rule of law, preserving ancient freedoms through Magna Carta in exchange for high taxes.   This basis for a constitution was incorporated into the United States Constitution. In Islamic jurisprudence, the rule of law in the seventh century was formulated in such a way that no official could claim to be above the law, not even the caliph.  Well-established and well-defined laws allow individuals, corporations and other entities to regulate their conduct accordingly (United States v. E.C.
Investments, Inc., 77 F.3d 327 [9th Cir. 1996]). Before the government can impose civil or criminal liability, a law must be drafted with sufficient precision and clarity so that a person of ordinary intelligence knows that a particular conduct is prohibited. For example, if a court is ordered to close a paint plant that illegally emits pollutants, the rule of law requires the government to prove that the mill owner did not operate the business in accordance with publicly known environmental standards. The functional interpretation of the term “rule of law”, which is consistent with the traditional English sense, contrasts the “rule of law” with the “rule of man”.  From a functional perspective, a society in which government officials have a wide margin of discretion has a low degree of “rule of law”, while a society in which government officials have little discretion has a high degree of “rule of law”.  Maintaining the rule of law may sometimes require punishing those who commit crimes justified by natural law but not by law.  The rule of law is therefore somewhat at odds with flexibility, although the latter is preferable.  The rule of law is an ambiguous term that can have different meanings in different contexts. In one context, the term rule means to govern according to the law.
No one may be ordered by the government to pay civil damages or to be prosecuted except in strict accordance with established and clearly defined laws and procedures. In a second context, the term means domination before the law. No branch of government is above the law and no public official may act arbitrarily or unilaterally outside the law. In a third context, the term domination means according to a higher law. No written law can be enforced by the government if it does not conform to certain unwritten universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice that transcend human legal systems. Various and myriad ways of defining the rule of law are well known in the United States and may depend on an organization`s purpose, including in areas of security risk: There is currently much debate about who adheres to the rule of law and who does not. in the United States and elsewhere. The use of the expression tends to be extremely busy. Failure to respect the rule of law involves significant violations of the social order that are so dramatic that they threaten the foundations of society. The World Justice Project has proposed a working definition of the rule of law that encompasses four principles: A handful of radical extremists have undermined the rule of law, social order and “one country, two systems” in #HongKong under the guise of the so-called “democracy movement,” China`s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, said at a press conference in London.
Great Britain. pic.twitter.com/7tLZbsrBJb The four universal principles are further developed in the following factors of the World Justice Project`s (WJP) annual Rule of Law Index®, the world`s leading source of original, independent rule of law data. The latest edition of the index draws on interviews with more than 138,000 households and 4,200 legal practitioners and experts to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived around the world. Our data provides up-to-date and reliable information to policymakers, civil society organizations, academics, citizens, businesses and lawyers, among others. The results of the index have been cited by heads of state, chief justices, business leaders and government officials, including media coverage in more than 190 countries around the world. In other countries, political leaders assert that all written laws must conform to universal principles of morality, fairness and justice. These leaders argue that as a necessary consequence of the axiom that “no one is above the law,” the rule of law requires that the government treat all people equally before the law. But the right to equal treatment is compromised when the government categorically denies a modicum of respect, dignity and autonomy to a single category of people. These unwritten principles of equality, autonomy, dignity and respect are intended to go beyond ordinary written laws passed by government. Sometimes known as natural law or higher legal theory, these unwritten, universal principles were used by the Allied powers at the Nuremberg trials to overcome the defense of Nazi leaders. Aren`t laws made by men and women in their role as legislators? Do men and women not apply the law as police officers or interpret the law as judges? And don`t we all choose to follow or not follow the law in our daily lives? How does the rule of law exist independently of the people who make, interpret and live it? The World Justice Project has developed an index to measure the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice. The WJC Rule of Law Index is composed of 9 factors and 52 sub-factors and covers various dimensions of the rule of law – such as whether government officials are accountable under the law and whether legal institutions protect fundamental rights and give ordinary people access to justice.
 This section of the dialogue contains quotations that define the components of the rule of law as understood at different times and in different contexts.
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