The term “Rule of Law” is derived from the French phrase ‘La Principe de Legality’ (the principle of legality) which refers to a government based on principles of law and not of men.
The DICEY’S THEORY of the Rule of Law consists of three main principles:
- Absence of discretionary powers and supremacy of Law: viz. no man is above the law. No man is punishable except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts. The government cannot punish any one merely by its own fiat. Persons in authority do not enjoy wide, arbitrary or discretionary powers.
- Equality before law: Every man, whatever his rank or condition, is subject to the ordinary law and jurisdiction of the ordinary courts. No person should be made to suffer in body or deprived of his property except for a breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land.
- Predominance of legal spirit: Constitution is the result of the ordinary law of the land. The constitution is not the source but the consequence of the rights of the individuals.
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