Tag: <span>Dicey</span>

Revisit the Rule of Law

Revisit the Rule of Law:
Concepts in Domestic and International Levels
July 2006 
I. Introduction
II. Rule of Law in Domestic Level
    A. Dicey’s Liberalism Concept
    B. Raz’s Positive Formalism Concept
    C. The Requirements to Rule of Law in Domestic Level
III. Rule of Law in International Level
    A. The Concept of International Rule of Law
    B. The Distinctions between International Rule of Law and Domestic Rule of Law
    C. Argument to the Fashionable Concept of International Rule of Law
    D. Case Study: Rule of Law in China and China in International Rule of Law
IV. Conclusion
I. Introduction
The term Rule of Law derives from Aristotle’s dicta, “the rule of law is better than that of any individual.”[1] In English, this term can be compared with various concepts, such as “equality before the law”, “government of law”, “Lex, Rex” and “the supremacy of law”, etc.[2] But the most broad and influential one is the Rule of Law. In German, the equivalent term to “rule of law” is “Rechtsstaat”, which was firstly used by J. W. Placidus in his Literatur der Staatslehre (National Theory).[3]
This essay is a brief review of the concept of rule of Law from domestic and international perspectives. To my knowledge, the term “rule of law” and the term “international rule of law” are very distinct from each other. Hence, when we are discussing one of these two terms, we should avoid to be wrongfully influenced by notions originally talking about the other one. By this logic, my argument is that although these two issues are highly relevant, they are not necessarily connected with each other. If we define the international rule of law as a norm of justifying some governments’ arbitrary actions to their people, we are actually discarding the international rule of law. On this basic idea, I briefly discussed the situation of rule of law in China and China in the international rule of law. This case study favored my argument. Nevertheless, this essay still focuses on the definition of rule of law respectively in domestic and international levels.