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THE RULE OF LAW: A THEME IN FIVE VARIATIONS

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This article unpacks the concept of the rule of law by distinguishing five distinct meanings of the term. These are: (1) the rule of practical wisdom, (2) the rule of the law, (3) rule by law, (4) the rule of law as a principle of constitutionalism, and (5) the rule of law as a power-building technique. It suggests that unless the particular meaning being used is clarified, discussion of the concept is likely to generate more heat than light.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Public Law and Head of Department of Law, The London School of Economics & Political Science; Honorary Professor of Law, Renmin University of China. This paper draws on aspects of an argument I make in more detail in Chapter 11 of Martin Loughlin, Foundations of Public Law, Oxford University Press (Oxford), (2010)m.loughlin@lse.ac.uk

10.3868/s050-004-015-0024-9
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/content/journals/10.3868/s050-004-015-0024-9
2015-11-02
2017-11-23

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