Rule Of Law And What Are Its Benefits And Defects

2674 words - 11 pages

INTRODUCTIONThere has been debate over the Rule of Law suggesting a separation between the rules by law and rules made by mere power of a ruler. In the days of Aristotle and Plato, there was a clear distinction between rules and rule by mere power. These distinctions will be discussed below, detailing the benefits and defects of both types of rules.More recently, the Rule of Law encompasses both rules (mainly Statutes) and judiciary-made rules. Statutes are necessary to limit judges' ultra vires but at same time, judiciary precedents are needed to 'complete loopholes' within these general statutes.As seen throughout the discussion, notwithstanding defects/benefits statutes and judiciary-made ...view middle of the document...

Is this is murder or manslaughter? Is there a claim for 'self-defence' as it was 'necessary' for the killer to not be killed by the deceased? The laws do not expressly provide on how to deal with this specific situation and judgement must then be made on moral principles ("principles" are discussed by Dworkin under the Modern Discussion section). Permanent laws are incompatible with changing demographics and technology. Laws must change at the same pace with the rest of society to maintain society's current perspective of justice & righteousness, but time delays in passing laws precludes this. For example, the new dog laws in New Zealand. Still now, the public waits for tougher dog laws to be passed on pit bulls and others alike. Even worse, there is no guarantee administration will be efficient. Here, Plato argues, rules fail to meet the differences of time and there is a need for rulers to exercise discretion as it encourages efficiency.Another example Plato uses is a physician who treats people by the book rather than by looking at patient's particular & peculiar problems. Dr Patch Adams proved physicians looking at specific & different problems may lead to the patient not needing "text-book" treatment at all, but simple love & care.Aristotle supported being ruled by law and not rulers. Judges may be swayed by passion or from public-hostility. In some cases, their actions should be checked against laws to ensure that their exercise of legally-conferred powers are consistent & impartial. This does not mean that the law is good but shows law is essential for everyone to look at and compare if just decisions have been reached.Rules are crucial to maintaining neutrality within the legal system. Aristotle uses Plato's physician example and presents how rules for doctors are needed to maintain trust & honesty within the patient. Say the doctor conspired with the patient's enemy regarding what the patient's illness was, because the doctor thought she had the power to do what SHE THOUGHT was right in the circumstances. Here, patients would be more inclined to be treated by the book than be treated by one who judges on what they think is 'right' about the patient.Where rules fail to take into account of specific, exceptional cases, Aristotle claims, equity should apply. Judges should correct errors of the law, rising from oversight by the lawmakers, given there are rules to be corrected in the first place. This is therefore, an argument to being ruled by laws.He favours rule by democracy where government by a collective of good men is better than being ruled by an absolute king. Decisions ought to be made by a democratically-elected assembly (e.g. parliament in our present day). Unlike Plato's idea of 'permanence', offices and positions will be rotated, enforcing the idea that everyone is equal and everyone should both rule & be ruled. For Rotation to proceed, laws must govern such rotations (cf. nowadays where there are...

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