Skip to content


This article is written by Karan Maurya, Classic College of Law Bareilly, B.A.,LL.B. During his Internship at Ledroit India. We know the rule of law is a concept given by A.V. DICEY. He said that no one is above the law.


  • Introduction
  • Definition
  • Meaning and Concept of rule of law
  • Dicey’s concept on’Rule of Law’
  • Basic Principles of Rule of Law
  • Features of Rule of law
  • Merits and Demerits 
  • Rule of law and Constitution of India
  • Landmark Cases
  • Conclusion


Administrative law has emerge as a responsible subject for lawyers and regulation students, with English people using Dicey’s concept of the guideline of law to venture its boom. The guideline of regulation is seen as the final expression of human civilization and subculture, and a regularly occurring language of ethical philosophy. It ensures the permanent validity of charters and is a prerequisite for democracy and proper governance. Lal Bahadur Shastri emphasizes the significance of respecting the rule of law to hold and reinforce the number one democratic tool.


Rule of regulation is a governing precept that continues all citizens, inclusive of management, are accountable to the law and that the law is continually applied. The concept has deep historical roots as societies have attempted to formulate and examine electricity systems.

In the most basic sense, Merriam- Webster defines rule of law as:

“a situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone.”[1]


One of the foundational concepts of our modern democratic society is the “rule of law.” although the word is presently defined by using the constitution of India, it has been frequently used by Indian judges in selections. A philosophy of countrywide political ethics that maintains the right balance between the rights and privileges of the character and the country so that you can build a unfastened society balances the rule of regulation with law based totally on freedom, justice, equity and accountability.

The term “los angeles principe de legalite (authorities primarily based on criminal standards) is the French equivalent of the rule of thumb of law, that’s in which the time period originates Edward Coke, is credited with introducing the idea of the guideline of regulation. In step with him, the prince should be ruled with the aid of God and regulation. Coke’s three essential comments on the “rule of regulation” First and predominant, the rule of regulation is necessary to save you the monarchy from exercise totalitarian manage; it additionally guarantees that the authorities does no longer act arbitrarily; and last, it is vital to protect human beings’s rights.

Objects based on the Edward coke’s theory

To prevent authoritarian dominance in governance

To reject the capricious strength of the nation

Uniform enforcement of legal guidelines and directives, regardless of stage or role

To act according with the regulation

Protection of men and women and their rights

The law is king

Lawmakers have the authority to scrutinize administrative acts


British attorney and constitutional theorist Albert Wayne Dicey delivered the concept of the rule of law in his 1885 e book “The law of the constitution”. Dicey emphasized the difference between administrative justice and the rule of thumb of law. He emphasised that the guideline of regulation applies similarly to all individuals, whether they are regular mayors or treasury secretaries, and consequently it’s miles crucial that the equal legal guidelines universally apply without discrimination, with the rule of thumb of law being paramount.


Rule of law: The primary principle holds that the rule of thumb of law requires no arbitrariness or immoderate discretionary electricity. In different words, each person must be issue to the law. Clearly justice is the ultimate authority and can be the most effective foundation for punishment, in the absence of different factors.

Because of this authorities officers or all people else have to now not have privileges. There’s no need for a separate tribunal or a unique courtroom for government and its personnel.

Supremacy of prison standards: The 0.33 principle asserts that in England rights along with personal liberty and safety from arbitrary arrest are established through judicial selections, and English. The constitution is the made from completely installed regulation. Basically, Dicey’s concept of the guideline of law is primarily based on a criminal machine wherein every person.


  • The simple principle of rule of regulation consists of the subsequent:
  • Residents are accountable to the regulation.
  • Leaders are responsible to the regulation.
  • The regulation is universally carried out and truthful to all citizens and therefore, it’s far simply.
  • Transparency/open authorities lets in citizens to peer the operations of presidency and make sure leaders appreciate the regulation.
  • Laws ought to be enforced equally and impartially.

The rule of regulation inside the American version is protection towards authoritarianism. Traditionally, an authoritarian government denies liberty to the residents and bases power on a unmarried chief or small group of ruling elite contributors. Leaders now and again resort to authoritarian rule if they fear losing strength or governing authority. It may additionally be used in corrupt government dealings or to reward supporters.

The rule of law protects towards the tyranny of most of the people by way of protecting the rights of the minority. The founders intentionally built-in protections that could ensure the guidelines implemented to all, regardless of popularity, heritage, or situation. Details of the U.S. Charter without a doubt illustrate the rule of regulation.


Regulation is ultimate, above the whole thing and absolutely everyone. No person is above regulation

  • All matters need to be finished in line with law and not in keeping with whims and fancies
  • Equality before regulation and identical protection of law
  • Discretionary powers ought to be placed into impact within rational limits set by way of law
  • Ok shield in opposition to govt abuse of powers
  • Unbiased and independent judiciary
  • Fair and just system
  • Speedy trial



The rule of regulation is a fundamental principle that underpins the functioning of a just and democratic society. It is based at the idea that everybody, including the authorities and its officers, is challenge to the regulation. At the same time as the rule of thumb of law has severa deserves in selling equity, equality, and justice, it additionally has its demerits and challenges that want to be taken into consideration.

1.Safety of man or woman rights:

The rule of thumb of regulation serves as a bulwark against the arbitrary exercising of electricity making sure the safety of man or woman rights and liberties through subjecting all and sundry which includes government officers to the regulation.

3.Prison fact and Predictability:                    

It creates a framework that guards in opposition to abuses and fosters a society wherein people can count on truthful remedy prison actuality and predictability rule of law presents a solid and predictable prison environment promoting criminal actuality this balance is vital for individuals groups and establishments to plan their moves and make knowledgeable decisions in the end contributing to economic development and social progress.

3.Responsibility and transparency:

One of the core merits of the rule of law is duty it establishes a gadget wherein individuals including those in positions of electricity are answerable for their movements this duty complements transparency in governance lowering corruption and promoting public trust in institutions.

4.Impartial judiciary:

A honest and independent judiciary is an quintessential element of the guideline of regulation it guarantees that legal disputes are resolved objectively without bias or undue have an impact on this instills self assurance inside the prison gadget and upholds the ideas of justice.

5.Social stability and order:

The guideline of regulation contributes to social balance with the aid of supplying a mechanism for resolving conflicts peacefully it establishes a framework that daunts vigilantism and promotes a feel of justice.

6. Prevention of Arbitrary Power:

Fostering a society in which residents feel at ease and guarded prevention of arbitrary strength through limiting the discretion of those in electricity the rule of law prevents arbitrary choice-making this principle is vital for stopping the misuse of authority and promoting a system wherein laws are applied continually and fairly


1. Stress in legal systems:

Some critics argue that a strict adherence to the rule of thumb of law can result in inflexible legal structures that may not safely reply to rapidly changing societal wishes or emergencies.

2. Inequality in get right of entry to to Justice:

In practice, now not all people may have equal get entry to to justice because of monetary constraints or systemic troubles. This can undermine the principle of equality before the law.

3. Manipulation of prison processes:

In some times, the rule of thumb of regulation may be exploited or manipulated for ulterior reasons. Powerful individuals or entities may additionally use felony mechanisms to attain unjust effects.

4. Bureaucratic Burden:

Overemphasis on procedural elements of the guideline of law can cause a bureaucratic burden, slowing down criminal tactics and impeding the green management of justice.

5. Capability for Injustice:

In rare instances, strict adherence to the rule of regulation might also result in results which are perceived as unjust. As an example, a technicality within the law might result in a verdict that doesn’t align with the moral or ethical expectancies of society.

6. Cultural and legal Pluralism:

The guideline of regulation can face demanding situations in societies with diverse cultural or prison traditions. Imposing a uniform felony framework may not usually appreciate or accommodate extraordinary cultural norms and practices.


The rule of thumb of regulation has been a key pillar of Indian democracy. In drafting the Indian charter, the Framers drew stress from the united states and England. The concept of rule of law, which came specially from England, become an critical a part of the Indian constitution and ruled all branches of presidency together with the Legislature, the government and the Judiciary.

The preamble of the constitution of India definitely units out the principles of the rule of thumb of law emphasizing justice, equity and freedom. Article 14 of the charter assures the equality before the law and equal safety of the law. Essential rights, as mentioned in Articles 13, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 25, 28 and 31A are to be had to each citizen of India. If these rights are violated, people can are searching for redress by using proceeding to the high court docket or excessive court under Articles 32 and 226 of the constitution. Moreover, any laws passed by the valuable or country government have to be in accordance with the constitution of India. If a law violates the provisions of the constitution, it will be declared null and void. Article 32 empowers the preferrred court to trouble numerous writs consisting of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari. This energy, known as judicial assessment, lets in the best court docket to make sure the maintenance of the rule of thumb of regulation and prevent the utility of legal guidelines that cross past the constitutional order essentially, the guideline of regulation in India is a fundamental principle in compliance with the charter.


1.Rule of law as a function of basic shape in KesavanandaBharathi v. State of Kerala[2], Some of the judges constituting majority, have been of the opinion that the rule of thumb of regulation has an Element of the doctrine of primary shape of the constitution, that even the complete energy of parliament cannot reach to amend.

2. In Indian Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain[3], wherein the apex courtroom invalidated clause (4) of Article 329-A inserted within the constitution via the constitution (39th change) act, 1975, to Immunize the election dispute to the workplace of the prime minister from any sort of Judicial overview, the subsequent facts of rule of law may be called out- that the rule of thumb of law. Postulates the manifested of the spirit of law throughout the whole variety of government In the experience of with the exception of arbitrary respectable motion is any sphere, that the jurisdiction of the Preferrred court docket to strive a case on deserves cannot be taken away without injury to the fundamental, Fundamental precept of the rule of regulation and of justice within a politically reveal.

Constitutional structure.

3. The right to equality of the Indian constitution (art-14) is most essential one that is Upholding the primary precept of rule of law in our society at arbitrary kingdom motion, each Administrative and legislative. The new orientation being given to artwork-14 by the courts Has been explained through Bhagavati, J., In Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab[4] that rule of law Which permeates the entire cloth of the Indian charter excludes arbitrariness, anyplace We find arbitrariness or unreasonableness there’s denial of rule of regulation.

4. In D.k.Basu v. State of west Bengal[5], the supreme court docket held that torture by way of police struck a Blow at the rule of thumb of regulation custodial violence has been held calculated assault on human Dignity, possibly one of the worst crimes in a civilized society ruled by way of the rule of Law. The courtroom held that the sort of acts could fall in the inhibition of article-21.

5. However the judgment of ADM Jabalpur v. S.Shukla[6] restricted the two vital Ideas of rule of law. In this, the choose stated, “Rule of regulation is the antithesis of Arbitrariness, rule of law is now the accepted norm of all of the civilized societies, every Where it is recognized with the liberty of the man or woman. It seeks to keep a stability Between the opposing notion of man or woman liberty and public order. In each country the Trouble arises of reconciling human rights with the requirement of public interests. Such Harmonizing also can be attained via the existence of impartial courts that may maintain The balance between citizen and the state and compel government to comply to the regulation”.


The concept of the guideline of regulation, firstly developed through A.V. Dicey become later included inside the charter of India, plays an crucial position in the formation of democratic states. The rule of regulation is a fundamental precept that emphasizes the significance of equality before the regulation, prohibition of behavior, safety of man or woman rights and serves as a shield towards abuse of power, ensuring that no person violates the regulation with position or irrespective of position. In India, the constitution has enshrined the rule of thumb of law and its standards have been mentioned inside the Preamble and in various articles to make certain equality, justice and freedom for all citizens Judiciary play an crucial role in retaining the rule of thumb of regulation in by means of judicial evaluation powers.

Tags: LLB, Rule of Law, Administrative law, Law, LedroitIndia, Judiciary, Lawyer



Constitutional Law of India by Dr. Kailash Rai

Administrative law by Dr. D Uma maheshwari 



[2] AIR 1973 SUPREME COURT 1461
[3] AIR 1975 SUPREME COURT 2299
[4] (1982)3SCC24
[5] AIR 1997 SUPREME COURT 610
[6] 1976 AIR 1207

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *