Constitutional Law - Rule of Law

The rule of law: the concept and main features

The concept of the legal state

Under the rule of law means a way of organizing power, when the rule of law, human rights and freedoms prevail in the country.

Expressions of the ideas subsequently laid in the basis of the concept of the legal state were still J. Locke, S. Montesquieu and other thinkers of the past centuries, but an integral concept of this kind was formed in the era of the emergence of bourgeois society. The basis for the formation of views on the nature of state power was a criticism of feudal lawlessness and arbitrariness that reigned in the complete absence of the responsibility of the authorities to the society. The provisions on the leading role of legality were embodied in the legislative provisions of France and the USA at the end of the XVIII century. The term "rule of law" was rooted in the works of German thinkers in the first decades of the XIX century.

Legal state: signs and principles of organization

Significant features distinguishing the rule of law:

  • the rule of law in all areas of society;
  • equality before the law of all citizens;
  • separation of powers;
  • legal security of a person;
  • human rights, individual freedoms become the greatest value;
  • stability of the rule of law in society.

In a state of law, the law prevails in all spheres of life without exception, not excluding the sphere of government. Human rights and freedoms are protected and guaranteed by law, recognized by the authorities. A person receives such rights from birth, they are not granted by the rulers. There is a mutual responsibility of the citizen and the state structures. The principle of separation of powers does not give anyone the opportunity to monopolize political power in the country. The implementation of laws is controlled by courts, prosecutors, human rights defenders, the media, and other political actors.

The mere existence of a legal system and legislation in a particular state does not allow it to be considered legal, since the process of drafting laws and their implementation can be aimed at supporting despotic forms of government.Under a totalitarian regime, where constitutionalism is imaginary, human rights and freedoms are merely proclaimed. In a truly legal state, the primacy of individual rights and freedoms cannot be violated by representatives of the authorities.

Law and rule of law

At its core, the idea of ​​a legal state is aimed at imposing limits on the strength of the state through legal norms. The implementation of this principle makes it possible to ensure social security and human security in its interaction with the government.

One of the signs of the rule of law is the presence of the Constitutional Court in the country. This institution is a kind of guarantor of the stability of the existing system, ensures the legality and compliance with the Constitution.

In a state of law, no authority (except for the highest legislative body) can change the adopted law; regulations cannot be in conflict with the law. The state in the person of its officials is bound in its actions by legislative norms. The state that issued the law has no right to violate or interpret it at its discretion; This principle eliminates arbitrariness and permissiveness on the part of bureaucratic structures.

The rule of law and civil society

Civilians are understood as a legal society in which democratic freedoms and human values ​​are recognized. This type of social order arises only where there are developed legal, economic and political relations. In civil society, one can observe high moral and ethical qualities of citizens.

This type of society is inextricably linked with the notion of a legal state under consideration, where political power expresses the interests of the majority of citizens. The rule of law and the refusal of total control, non-interference in the life of society lead to the fact that social relations and relations are no longer dependent on the state and its individual structures.

Features of the legal society and the state

The most important features of a legal state are recognition of the sovereignty of the people, approval of its source of power, protection of the interests of any citizen, regardless of their social status.

In a state of law, religious organizations, political or public associations can not give orders to those who conduct public affairs.The procedure for the work of power structures is determined by the country's constitution and the legal acts based on it. Violations of this principle can be found in some countries of the Muslim world, where religious leaders have uncontrolled power; something similar happened in medieval Europe, when the power of the church was not contested by anyone.

The keystone in the construction of a law-based state is the separation of the executive from the judicial and legislative branches. The principle of separation of powers enables society to control the work of parliament, government and courts. A special system of balances does not allow branches of power to violate the norms established by law, limits their powers.

In a legal state there is a mutual responsibility between the structures of power and man. Any relationship between leaders at all levels and citizens of the country are built on the recognition of the rule of law. Any impact on a person that is not subject to the requirements of the law is considered a violation of civil liberties. But the citizen, in turn, must reckon with the requirements of the law and the decisions of state bodies based on them.

A legal state may require its citizens to perform only those actions that do not go beyond the clear framework of the legal field. An example is the payment of taxes, which is considered a constitutional duty of citizens. Violation of the legal requirements of the state entails sanctions on his part.

One of the duties of a legal state is the exercise of rights and civil liberties, ensuring security in society and the integrity of the person.

The rule of law assumes that any issues and conflicts that may arise in the state are resolved on the basis of legal norms. The provisions of the basic law strictly apply throughout the country, without exceptions and limitations. Regulations adopted at the local level, can not contradict the norms of the constitution.

The highest value in a legal state are the guarantees of the rights and freedoms of each person. The leading place in the complex system of priorities of a legal state is occupied by the interests of a citizen, his right to freedom and independence. However, freedom is viewed as an awareness of the need to act not so much in their personal interests, as for the benefit of the whole society, without prejudice to the interests of other citizens.

Formation of the rule of law in Russia

The development of the Russian state, as the Constitution states, is striving to become a social and legal one. State policy is aimed at creating such conditions that guarantee comprehensive development and a decent human life.

In order to form the basis for the rule of law, the state assumes the following main responsibilities:

  • ensuring social justice;
  • ensuring the minimum wage;
  • support for family, childhood, motherhood, etc .;
  • development of social services;
  • the establishment of substantial guarantees of social protection;
  • prevention of radical property stratification.

It is necessary to distinguish officially recognized principles of the rule of law from the state and legal reality. The mere fact of the proclamation of a legal state in a country does not at all testify in favor of the fact that it has already been built. The formation of a society in which law predominates passes through a series of stages and can take a lot of time.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation has determined that there are three main branches of government in the country:

  • legislative;
  • executive
  • judicial.

There are also power structures that are not included in any of the branches (for example, the Central Bank and the Audit Chamber of the Russian Federation).

In modern Russia, the rule of law has so far not become an unshakable principle of the work of state structures. Often, citizens have to face the arbitrariness of individual officials and the violation of human rights by bureaucratic structures. The effective protection of the freedoms of citizens is not always ensured. However, the very fact that the law on the rule of law is enshrined in the law encourages the institutions of civil society and all branches of power to improve legal relations and contributes to the creation of legal culture.


Video: 9 - Introduction to the Rule of Law


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Images: The rule of law: the concept and main features The rule of law: the concept and main features
Images: The rule of law: the concept and main features The rule of law: the concept and main features
Images: The rule of law: the concept and main features The rule of law: the concept and main features