The Rule of Law in a Democratic State

essay B
  • Words: 2737
  • Category: Law

  • Pages: 10

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

The clever tyrant binds us by the ironss of our ain thoughts. We who seek to construct democracy must non be bound by the false averment that the regulation of jurisprudence isdemocratic

  • Michel Foucault

It is an self-evident characteristic of discourses on the regulation of jurisprudence to exhibit a deficiency of clear word picture of what is justly to be decided as within its institutional characteristics. There is no 1 right preparation of the regulation of jurisprudence and hence analyzing it in visible radiation of its parts towards a province that embraces democracy, a non wholly unsophisticated construct, is ne’er traveling to be logically expressed. In a really rough mode we can place a kind of Rawlsian divide in the thought of a formal and substantial regulation of jurisprudence [ 1 ] . The restrictions of infinite and clip mean that we will hold to accept this as a petroleum estimate which does a great unfairness to the changing signifiers of the regulation of jurisprudence [ 2 ] . The current internationalcacheof the regulation of jurisprudence as exhibited by its announcement in socialist states like China [ 3 ] , the about iconic position for some of the authors in post-communist and bossy states in the middle-east [ 4 ] and the really fact that it transcends philosophical divides such as naturalism, positivism, liberalism, federalism, socialism and many other dominant discourses mean that any analysis of the regulation of jurisprudence and its relationship with democracy is traveling to through up some really diverse sentiments. In this essay I have chosen to concentrate on the dominant constructs of the regulation of jurisprudence in replying whether or non it promotes or restricts democracy.

Contemporary legal authors seem to hold that as it stands at the minute the regulation of jurisprudence is situated someplace between the severe pre-Dworkin and Fuller epoch of positivism that still had a really Lockean influence and the complete wadding of the construct of the regulation of jurisprudence with political and moral ideals to efficaciously alter it to the regulation ofgoodjurisprudence [ 5 ] . Tamanaha has exposed theories of the regulation of jurisprudence that have run since pre-Christian civilizations ( notably the Athenian civilization as represented by Plato and Aristotle ) through the in-between ages to modern twenty-four hours post-enlightenment western civilization. In one sense this duologue is improbably lighting because it shows that the regulation of jurisprudence clearly exists exogenously from the thought of democracy. However, when Aristotle stated that ‘jurisprudence is ground unaffected by desire’ [ 6 ] whilst he wasn’t concerned with democratic ideals as we presently recognise it he was more shrewdly concerned with the fact that humans added a dimension of the ‘animal’ [ 7 ] to adjudication, viz. that they couldn’t be trusted to intercede in a province because they wouldn’t be consistent but instead prejudiced and capable to the impulse of the minute. This thought is the meat of early positive thoughts on the formal nature of the regulation of jurisprudence and was summed up by Rawls:

The right rule…is on a regular basis adhered to…by the governments. This impartial andconsistent disposal of Torahs and establishments, whatever their substantialrules, we may name formal justness’ [ 8 ]

Whilst Tamanaha and Rawls in their separate ways highlight the exogenic nature of the regulation of jurisprudence and democracy the important facet of formal histories of the regulation of jurisprudence are that they are to make with the control of authorization within society. In this popular position the regulation of jurisprudence is both amoral and unpolitical ; it neither supports nor promotes democracy but is concerned basically with the riddance of the sensed lawlessness and unfairness of arbitrary usage of power. What has to be stressed at this occasion is the divisibility of this cardinal proposition which in its modern construct [ 9 ] is best described as basically broad and traceable to the Hagiographas of John Locke. However, this discourse is separate from Legal Positivism ( the thought that jurisprudence is separate from ethical motives [ 10 ] ) , Natural Law ( the thought that jurisprudence and legal determinations encapsulate moral opinions [ 11 ] ) Critical Legal Studies ( a aggregation of diverse theories that try to expose the world of jurisprudence such as the routinisation of legal pattern and excess legal and moral patterns that traditional histories don’t incorporate ) and many other discourses. The helpfulness of separating is in the ability to place the assortment of ways in which the regulation of jurisprudence has been used and criticised by these discourses. Particularly the conflation of the regulation of jurisprudence with positivism is most misunderstood which as Campbell argues has few things in common and possibly suffers from an hostility between the thought of autonomous power and the regulation of jurisprudence [ 12 ] . In the same vena it has to be recognised that we don’t have the chance to sketch what is meant by democracy in any great item in this work. I have simply accepted it as a peculiar signifier of authorization [ 13 ] manifested by thoughts as expressed by Rawls that due to the fact that the distribution of wealth, land & A ; degree Celsiuss… in an bossy or extremely broad signifier of authorities will be determined by birth or natural opportunity that ‘we can non be satisfied short of the democratic construct’ [ 14 ] . Democracy empowers everyone so that chances are unfastened to everyone. The usage of elected representatives is an issue of ‘convenience’ [ 15 ] but the cardinal issue for Democracy is authorising everyone to do determinations about their society and the distribution of resources.

In more modern-day Hagiographas the regulation of jurisprudence is non merely a exalted rule that authorization be applied systematically it does subject to an analysis of more elaborate aspects, it is on this lower degree of abstraction that we likely find the widest degree of consensus on the existent nature of the regulation of jurisprudence. There is a distinguishable mainstream position on what these aspects are constructing on the work of authors every bit diverse as Finnis [ 16 ] , Raz [ 17 ] and Fuller [ 18 ] who whilst coming from all spectrums of legal theories seem to hold on these characteristics:

  • Generalization– Propositions are normative
  • Announcement –They must be promulgated by an identifiable organic structure
  • Prospective– i.e. non retroactive
  • Clear– Rules have to be sufficiently clear to be capable of following
  • Coherent– Don’t have conflicting regulations, has to be consistence
  • Stability– Allow people to utilize cognition without altering all the clip
  • Application Consistent– This is the complicated 1 that requires that legal agents use the regulations in fact systematically and divergences are treated as such.

It is at this lower degree of more substantial characteristics of the regulation of jurisprudence that we start to see possible links to democracy. This is non surprising given the drift under which authors, particularly those such as Dworkin and Fuller were composing. The recoil on legal positivism in the mid-20Thursdaycentury following World War 2 and the civil atrociousnesss of Nazi Germany that occurred within a society governed by Torahs. Writers such as Fuller and Dworkin felt so as Campbell does now that these unfavorable judgments didn’t require an forsaking of legal positivism but some signifier of get marrieding morality and jurisprudence that didn’t end up being a natural jurisprudence place. Hence the rubric of Fuller’s book ‘The Morality of Law’ , he argued that regardless of the Torahs specific content that the regulation of jurisprudence and its consequent characteristics instantiated certain moral values and hence gave jurisprudence an ‘interior morality’ [ 19 ] . True, this construct was rejected by Raz and Hart who said that the regulation of jurisprudence was kindred to a knife, an effectual arm but of itself non determinative of its utilizations nevertheless Marmor, in an insightful article, has attacked these unfavorable judgments as non giving full recognition to the moral and political significance of the above aspects of the regulation of jurisprudence. However, whilst we have seen the abstract formal version of the regulation of jurisprudence as mentioned earlier had really small to make with democracy, these more modern constructs move off from such stiff divides such as the divide between the regulation of jurisprudence and the authorization puting down the jurisprudence.

Finnis is the lone 1 who seems to explicitly province the connexion between the regulation of jurisprudence and democracy and he argues that due to overarching background rules of liberalism that both democracy and the regulation of jurisprudence complement each other. He argues that the broad ideal of people being able to make an ‘identity’ for they is supported both by the regulation of jurisprudence in the ways we have discussed above but furthermore is besides supported by democracy. He argues for a ‘positive good of a certain quality of association and interaction between swayer and ruled’ [ 20 ] , this isn’t merely protection from despotic behavior but is built on a ‘relationship of reciprocality’ that allows the execution of unfair strategies. In fact, Finnis seems to reason that the really thought of constitutional authorities i.e. a authorities of Torahs non work forces is a cardinal aspect of the regulation of jurisprudence and that from this it flows democracy and the regulation of jurisprudence are reciprocally good if non rather traveling so far as to state that democracy is a aspect of the regulation of jurisprudence. Finnis in a subtly effectual statement goes farther to reason that the nexus between democratic authorities and regulation of jurisprudence is mandated because it is the lone signifier of authorities that will perchance be able to digest the regulation of jurisprudence. He argues that other signifiers of authorities can non ‘happen in its aims any principle for adherence…to the subjects of legality. For such governments are in concern for determinate consequences non to assist individuals represent themselves in community’ [ 21 ] . He rather justly states that the regulation of jurisprudence does nonwarrantdemocracy but that overall it ‘is ever apt to cut down the efficiency for immorality of an evil authorities, since it consistently restricts the government’s freedom of tactic’ [ 22 ] . This point was besides made by Fuller viz. that no dictatorship that has existed of all time met the demands of consistence which are the kernel of the regulation of jurisprudence.

Rawls is besides lighting in this sense, Rawls was concerned with coming up with a comprehensive theory of jurisprudence based on rules such as justness, nevertheless in make up one’s minding which rules and theories to accept one would hold to be in the ‘original place’ where you knew non what you would be, what sex, age, ethnicity, nationality & A ; c… you were and so you designed a legal system. He argues out of self-interest person in this place would take rules that created equality. Rawls explicitly backs the treatment above of Fuller and Finnis nevertheless goes even further and starts to spread out the regulation of jurisprudence even more. He argues that because of the vagueness of jurisprudence and the eventful arbitrary nature of its application that it is merely through an ‘commitment to justness’ i.e. the application of the regulation of jurisprudence, that arbitrary behavior can be subdued. Rawls is more concentrated on Justice than democracy nevertheless his 2nd rule of justness that societal and economic inequalities are arranged so that they are to everyone’s advantage and attached to places open to all mean that the ‘democratic construct’ as discussed earlier is the lone 1 that can make this. The logical thinking is hard to follow, distribute out throughout a chapter mostly concerned with other issues, nevertheless one time picked out provides a more concrete relation between democracy and the regulation of jurisprudence. Simplified, Rawls is reasoning that the regulation of jurisprudence promotes substantial justness, as discussed, the 2nd rule of justness isn’t satisfied by the dogmas of liberalism entirely because it relies on a ‘natural lottery’ whereby chances in society are below the belt meted out, democracy is a manner of guaranting that unless there is a manner of doing both of course advantaged and disadvantaged people better off so the rule of democratic equality is to be preferred. This classless impression is what Rawls sees as fundamental to the ‘democratic construct’ . The nexus to the regulation of jurisprudence is tenuous but distinguishable from what Fuller and Finnis were reasoning. The thought that both democracy and the regulation of jurisprudence are the objectively rational pick of person in the original place show that they are reciprocally good and both every bit contribute to the ideal of justness. I’m non convinced that in this sense the regulation of jurisprudence supports democracy but it surely does non curtail it any sense whereas rather clearly in the other instances democracy is straight supported by the being of the regulation of jurisprudence.

What is clear from the modern construct of the regulation of jurisprudence with its multi-faceted attack and internal-set of ethical motives is that it is no longer open to the unfavorable judgments of many legal bookmans. The critics of the regulation of jurisprudence will by and large assail the fact that the regulation of jurisprudence promotes democracy by reasoning that in fact it promotes nil at all, it is the proverbial ‘knife’ that Hart and Raz were speaking about. However this misses the cardinal conceptual revolution that Finnis, Fuller and Rawls are seting into the regulation of jurisprudence. It is apprehensible that authors such as Hammerstrom [ 23 ] and Hart will reason as defined but the job is they are neglecting to lose the point of the discourses above which is that unlike Austin and Bentham [ 24 ] they are non reasoning that the more a legal system promotes the regulation of jurisprudence the more effectual the legal system [ 25 ] , there is a silent credence that the regulation of jurisprudence competes with other ideals and merely promotes one signifier of good. This is really much shown by the purposes of Campbell [ 26 ] in his book who is likewise seeking to support legal positivism which due to the conflation of both legal positivism and the regulation of jurisprudence have lead to similar damnations of both, symmetrically Ethical Legal Positivism exemplifies what modern constructs of the regulation of jurisprudence do, viz. that there is a topographic point for ethical motives and extra-legal rules. It is clear that Postmodernist reviews and Critical Legal Surveies are non to be fancifully overcome by these statements, there is non the infinite for a thorough postmodernist review but the general push of postmodernism is to expose the regulation of jurisprudence as the method of ‘impersonal, non subjectivist declaration of value dissensions and societal struggle’ [ 27 ] which is made to look pathetic in the visible radiation of a post-modern pluralistic construct of world that denies any cardinal values. Such a review nevertheless wouldn’t apply in this state of affairs, we are sing rules such as democracy and the regulation of jurisprudence, and both every bit would be attacked by postmodernists as value-laden and conceptually similar in their pretension at conceptual objectiveness. The current job for post-modernist reviews at the minute is they are basically deconstructionalist, the statements they present can be extremely pertinent but as of yet they provide no option and possibly ne’er will make.

In decision, the regulation of jurisprudence is non needfully a corollary of democracy ; they are conceptually distinguishable but portion similar beginnings and purposes. It is in this footing of shared purposes that they can reciprocally profit each other. My overall feeling of the issue is that the regulation of jurisprudence and the democracy work best together and without each other would be less effectual. The regulation of jurisprudence wouldn’t be adhered to by a authorities that isn’t democratic ; illustratively this is the exact concern of modern-day authors in Hong Kong after the terminal of British regulation [ 28 ] and the beginning of socialist China’s regulation. Concurrently democracy without the regulation of jurisprudence would be conceptually arguable nevertheless a authorities that was blatantly unpredictable and arbitrary would be removed in a democratic province because the regulation of jurisprudence provides a societal good in itself separate from the content of the jurisprudence that societal good would finally predominate in a on the job democracy.



Campbell, T, Ewing, KDoubting Essaies on Human RightsOUP / 2003

& A ; Tomkins, A

Campbell, TThe Legal Theory of Ethical PositivismDartmouth / 1996

Finnis, JohnNatural Law & A ; Natural RightsClarendon / OUP / 1980

McCoubrey, HillaireTextbook on lawBlackstone / 2neodymiumErectile dysfunction

& A ; White, Nigel1999

Rawls, JohnA Theory of JusticeOUP / 1999

Tamanaha, BrianOn the Rule of Law:History, Politics, CUP / 2005



Hills, MasonThe Rule of Law and Democracy in1994 E Law Vol 1.

Hong Kong – Comparative analysis

Of British Liberalism and Chinese


Hammerstrom, DougThe Rule of Law versus DemocracyBy what Authority 2002 / Vol 5 No 1

Marmor, AndreiThe Rule of Law and Its Limits2004 Law & A ; Phil 1

Williams, S.GIndefiniteness and the Rule of Law2004 3 OJLS 539


Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member