BRIEFING THE RULE OF LAW: WHAT IS IT, AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
14 December 2022
Judicial independence and access to justice Why does the rule of law matter? The rule of law prevents the abuse of state power, requires the law to be followed by all, and ensures that legal rights are fulfilled in practice. [...] Legal equality and fundamental rights • Central to the rule of law is the concept that citizens should be equally treated before the law, and that legal obligations and basic rights apply to all. [...] The rule of law provides the culture of legality, and the independent legal institutions, necessary for these fundamental rights to be protected and upheld. [...] • It is for this reason that the Lord Chancellor and other ministers have a statutory duty to ‘uphold the continued independence of the judiciary’ in the UK. [...] Those working in the UK’s democratic and independent institutions have a responsibility to promote public trust in the rule of law, while the public’s commitment to this fundamental principle is essential for it to be maintained in the long term.