Rule of Law in Public Administration

World political dynamics have created a need for assistance in establishing a rule of law. That embodies the fundamental principles of civilized and enlightened law in emerging nations if they can interact efficiently with the world body.

Here I am going to discuss the rule of law in public administration.

Definition of Rule of Law

The rule of law—the principle that law (as administered by the ordinary courts) is supreme and that all citizens (including members of the government) are equally subject to it and equally entitled to its protection.

The Principle

As principle rule of law includes the application of the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law, human rights law, criminal law and procedure, and constitutional law. It also incorporates principles that govern civil and criminal accountability for management. The rule of law includes standards by which national institutions may be held accountable for their failure to comply with universal legal principles and regulations.

Essentials Ideals

The ideals form the basis of the democratic system seeking to create a coalescence of diverse peoples, places, and interests. It is based on six essential ideals:

  1. People must accept the principle of majority rule.
  2. The political rights of minorities must be protected.
  3. Citizens must agree to a system of rule by law.
  4. The free exchange of opinions and ideas must not be restricted.
  5. All citizens must be equal before the law.
  6. Government exists to serve the people because it derives its power from the people.

Rule of Law Bound by Regulation

Under the rule of law, the nation is bound by regulations that govern various interactions among individuals, groups, and governmental bodies. These regulations are ideally applied to all without favoritism. Laws can be changed only through a formal, established system of new legislation or amendments to the constitution.

In contrast to the procedures followed by some undemocratic governments, individuals or groups cannot arbitrarily change accepted laws and ways of dealing with citizens.

Types of Government Corruption

  • Procurement Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Bribes
  • Illegal Use of Power and Position
  • Corrupt Judiciary
  • Theft of Government Property or Funds

Social Institutions and Crime

Social institutions include family, economics, government, religion, and education. The causes of crime lie primarily in the area of personal interaction, and that personal interaction is conflicted almost entirely with local communities and neighborhoods. Social institutions have some significance for crime but with certain exceptions. The efficiency of the police system and of the entire system of criminal justice does have an effect on the crime rate.

Good Governance and Sustainable Development

It is widely recognized that good governance is essential to sustainable development. Well-functioning legal institutions and governments bound by the rule of law are, in turn, vital to good governance. Weak legal and judicial systems – where laws are not enforced and non-compliance and corruption are the norms – undermine respect for the rule of law, engender environmental degradation, and undermine progress toward sustainable development.

Ill-directed Efforts

To date, most of the efforts have concentrated on developing new laws and creating new institutions, rather than building capacity for ensuring compliance with existing rules. Yet without compliance, laws, and regulations are meaningless- or worse, they undermine respect for the rule of law – and cannot promote sustainable development.

As a result, Pakistan still suffers from weak legal and judicial systems, lacks investment, and has poor development prospects, sustainable or otherwise. Thus, all reform efforts need to ensure that its rule of law efforts include sufficient training and capacity building to establish the institutional foundation for compliance and enforcement, through both instrumental and normative efforts.

The Vital Function of Good Governance

While many factors play an important role in development, good governance is now recognized as playing an essential role in the advancement of sustainable development. Good governance promotes accountability, transparency, efficiency, and rule of law in public institutions at all levels. It allows for sound and efficient management of human, natural, economic, and financial resources for equitable and sustainable development.

Moreover, under good governance, there are clear decision-making procedures at the level of public authorities, civil society participation in decision-making processes, and the ability to enforce rights and obligations through legal mechanisms.

Rule of Law and Economy

Without proper-functioning institutions of governance based on the rule of law that promotes social stability and legal certainty, there cannot be investment and assumption of risk that form the basis of market economy development, let alone sustainable development. Indeed, the strength of the rule of law is the best predictor of a country’s economy the deficiency in the rule of law encourages high rates of corruption, with further devastating consequences on the confidence of economic actors.

This lack of investment, in turn, slows economic growth and consequently deprives the governments of resources to invest in education, social safety nets, and sound environmental management, all of which are critical for sustainable development success.

The key

Sustainable development can only be achieved through the involvement of all stakeholders and seeks to promote greater transparency and accountability among government bodies by guarantying three pillars for the public:

  • The rights of citizen access to information;
  • Citizen participation in decision-making, and
  • Citizen access to justice

Millennium Development Goals

Moreover, in 2000, 191 United Nations member States pledged to fulfill a set of key goals (the Millennium Development Goals) for poverty reduction and sustainable development by the year 2015. In the Millennium Declaration, the Member States agreed to “spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development.”

Judicial Reforms

Recognizing the importance of rule of law and good governance, there’s a dire need for legal and judicial reforms, including judicial training, development of new laws and legal institutions, and capacity building.

Areas for Reform

In order to move up in good governance there’s also a need to focus on the following six areas:

  1. Parliamentary development;
  2. Assistance with electoral systems and processes;
  3. Improvement of access to justice and human rights;
  4. Promotion of access to information;
  5. Support for decentralization and local governance; and
  6. Reform of public administration and civil service.

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