Explain the Rule of law under the British Constitution

You must keep in mind while explaining the Rule of law under the British Constitution, that according to the law everyone is equal.  The rule of law is the result of the struggle of British people for recognition of their fundamental rights. In the United Kingdom (U.K) the meaning of the rule of law is defined as under:

“Rule of law indicates that none of the people is above or below the law”. All the persons are equal in the eyes of the law. If any person violates the law. He should face the trial of the case in the court.

Decay’s Explanation of the rule of law

The English jurist decay has given an explanation of the concept of the rule of law in his book Law of the constitution- published in 1885. They gave the following meaning to this concept

No arbitrary punishments

No man is punishable by law until he breaches the law of the state. All of those people who have been accused of an offense should be presented before the court for the trial in a legal manner and no one can be deprived of his life, liberty, and property.

Equality before law

Secondly, the rule of law indicates that in the U.K every citizen, rich or poor, high or low is subject to the same law and the same courts of law. U.K law does not make any difference between act of government and citizen. If any public officer does any wrong with an individual, legal actions would be taken against him according to the existing law of the state.

Judicial Decisions

Finally, rule of law means that the general objects of the constitutions are the result of judicial decisions which are determining the rights of private persons in particular case before the courts

Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Rule of Law

Rule of law provides support to Parliamentary sovereignty. Before the Parliamentary sovereignty courts are unable to make their discretions on laws of the state. Parliament can break the rule of law for the provision of justice to the people and the court cannot stop the parliament from breaking of rule of law. The act of breaking laws is the supreme exercise of the parliamentary sovereignty for legalizing the criminalities

Importance of the Rule of law

The government and its officials as well as individuals and private bodies are accountable under the rule of law. Rule of law is the basic principle of the British Constitution. It secures the liberty of the citizens of British. Law is the supreme overall personal and all people’s needs to follow it for their convenience

Instances of rule of law

Following are important instances of the rule of law

The right of personal freedom

According to rule of law. People have personal freedom in England. No one can be arrested without lawful reasons

The right of freedom of decision

According to rule of law. People of England have the right to freedom of decision or freedom of speech. Media is independent even everyone can criticize the government policies

The right to public meeting

Rule of law provides a lot of freedoms, one of them are freedom of meeting. In England, people have the right to the gathering or public meeting or form political parties

Ministerial responsibility

Ministerial responsibility is an important instance of the theory of the rule of law. If one minister do wrong other will be held responsible for his wrong action

Some Exceptions

Following are the exceptions to Rule of law

Crown is not responsible for the wrong of his officers. Crown is not responsible for the wrong done by his officers. A government official personally will be responsible for his mistake made in his official capacity

Servants of crown are incapable if dismissed

If crown dismisses his servants even without a reason, servants are totally incapable to take action against the crown

Public officers are not responsible for the wrong of their subordinates

As the crown is not responsible for the wrong done by his officers as the public officers are also not responsible for the wrong done by their subordinates because there are certain privileges have given to Public officers

Judges of the courts are not responsible

The judges of the courts will not be hold responsible for anything done by them in the official course of their business

Foreign rulers cannot be trialed

There is an exception that rulers cannot be trial by any court In England for any wrong committed by them

Diplomatic representatives cannot be trialed

Diplomatic representatives cannot be trailed by any court in England for any wrong committed by them

Crown’s power to refuse or grant passport

Crown has power to refuse or grant passport to travel in any country. The order of the crown cannot be challenged in any court of England

Cancellation of citizenship

if the citizen of someone Is canceled on legal grounds. It cannot be challenged In any court

Power of home minister to naturalize alien

The action of the home minister regarding naturalization of aliens cannot be challenged in any court of law

Time of proceedings against public servant

It is necessary that legal action should be taken against any public servant who may exercise his powers illegally and violate the rule of law. The right of action laps after six months

Justice of peace

Justice of peace is not liable for any act if the act is not wrongful

Trade unions are not liable

Trade unions enjoy a lot of protection in England and are not liable for their actions.

Effects of rule of law

The court interprets legislation keeping in view the theories of the rule of law. The rule of law gives every citizen a safe place to stand and give protections from official and private individuals. It helps people to feel secure and safe.

You should also read this: Appointment of Guardian by Court

Summing Up

The rule of law plays a pivotal role in the administration of justice but currently, it has been quite modified. There are several limitations upon the rule of law which indicate that the rule of law is not fully followed in England today


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