Supremacy Of Law in relation to the Rule of Law

Supremacy of the law
Supremacy of the law

The Supremacy Of Law

Somto Chuks

Rule of law represents the sovereignty or supremacy of law over men. Simply put, it means that everything must be done according to law. It maintains that all actions, decision, and policies whether they are done by individuals or by the government should be done according to law and governed by law.

 

Supremacy Of Law
Supremacy Of Law

It insists that every person, regardless of rank or societal status- be subject to the law. It is the observance, supremacy or prevalence of civil or regular law as against arbitrary law or arbitrariness. It means the absence of arbitrary laws and arbitrary actions. It also means that government power must be subject to general rules. That is the exercise of official power must be in line with the ordinary laws of the land as opposed to arbitrary laws. In other words, government officials or functionaries must be able to justify their actions according to law.

For the citizens, the concept is both ‘prescriptive’- dictating the conduct required by law- and ‘protective’ of citizens – demanding that government acts according to law. Thus, if government workers are unable to justify their actions according to law, any affected person may go to court for suitable remedy or remedies.

 

Supremacy of law
Supremacy of law

The concept of rule of law is a kind of yardstick for measuring both the extent to which government acts under the law and the extent to which individual rights are recognized and protected by law. Thus, rule of law can be meaningful basically if the country in question exhibits the attributes of a democratically elected, responsible and responsive government and a separation of powers which results in the judiciary which is independent of government.

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The opposite of rule of law is rule by force which will lead to arbitrariness, despotism, dictatorship, tyranny and ultimately anarchy and chaos.

In the end, the supremacy of law must prevail at all time.

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