The Politics of the Rule of Law


  • *This paper is an extended version of my talk at “The Rule of Law Conference” at Budapest, February 1990, which was organised by the Bibo College of Law and the Jagelonian Trust.


Abstract. The rule of law should be understood as part of the culture of democracy which requires a distribution of power between a periodically elected legislature and executive and an independent, but publicly accountable, judiciary in charge of a more slowly changing legal doctrine. The rule of law is also essential for the protection of individuals in fast changing pluralistic societies. In both its aspects the doctrine is a product of a particular historical culture, and requires a culture of legality, and not merely the introduction of a few legal rules, for its proper functioning.