Rule of Law Essay

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The changes ushered into the British legal system ride on the crescent wave of voices and policies in the European community that seek to uphold the primacy of human rights and due process, particularly when made vulnerable by antiquated state structures and legal institutions.


This is consistent with the idea of the Rule of Law propounded by A.V. Dicey in his book "Introduction to the Study of Law of the Constitution" (1885). Dicey posited the following propositions. Firstly, no man could be punished or lawfully interfered with by the authorities except for breaches of law. In other words, all government actions must be authorised by law. Secondly, no man is above the law and everyone, regardless of rank, is subject to the ordinary laws of the land. Thirdly, there is no need for a bill of rights because the general principle of the constitution are the result of judicial decisions determining the rights of the private person.
This paper will address the question of whether or not the Rule of Law is still applicable in the United Kingdom, given the recently passed anti-terrorism legislation. The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in November of 2001, a mere two months after the historic 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Criticized by many for the undue haste in its passage, with concerns of political pressure being raised, the law in its original form contained passages that human rights groups deemed to be violative of established human rights principles. ...
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