The term rule of law refers to the principles of legality which refers to a government based on principle of law and not of men (J.J.R, Upodhaya, Administrative law, 4th edition, 2001). Therefore the rule of law is opposed to arbitrary powers.
Sir Edward Coke, the chief justice in James 1's reign is said to be the originator of this great principle.
According to Dicey (Ibid), the rule of law is one of the cardinal principles of the eight legal systems. He attributed the following aspects of the rule of law.
a) Supremacy of law: Rule of law means the absolute supremacy or predominance of regular law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary power or discretionary power. It excludes the existence of arbitrariness of prerogative power or even wide discretionary authority on the part of government. Dicey asserted that the Englishmen were ruled by the law, and the law alone. He denied that in England the government was based on exercise by persons in authority or wide arbitrary or discretionary powers. (Constitution Law, 8th edition)
b) Equality before law: According to this doctrine of rule of law, there must be equality before the law or equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land administered by the ordinary law courts. In England, all [persons were subject to one and the same law and there were no extraordinary tribunals or special courts for officers of the government and other authorities. According to Dicey (Ibid) courts are supreme throughout the state. He criticized the French legal system of Droit administratiff in which there were separate administrative tribunals for ordinary people and civil servants.
c) Predominance of legal spirit: Explaining the third postul ...