The Rule Of Law And The Uk Constitution

1298 Words6 Pages
The rule of law is seen as being one of the most fundamental components of the UK constitution as well as being a principle that is concerned with restricting parliamentary action. Though the rule of law is seen to be a component in the constitution; the actual meaning of the rule of law has been very problematic to interpret. This is considerably down to the fact that it means different things to different people as since the nineteenth century, academics, politicians and judges have proposed diverse definitions and explanations in regards to the rule of law and the role it upholds in the UK constitution. The most influential definition of the rule of law is that of the A.V. Dicey. In his work he defines the rule of law to be composed of three central elements. The first element states that “no man is punishable or can be made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts”. This element is designed to deny to governments any rights to make secret or arbitrary laws, or retrospective penal laws, and to limit the discretionary powers of government” . In order to comply with the requirement, it is stated that the rule must be open, clear, accessible and certain. This is supported by Lord Bingham as he argued that the law must be accessible, clear and predictable as wide discretionary powers would lead to arbitrariness which is against the rule of law. This principle is further illustrated by
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