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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Rule of Law

Simon Chesterman

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 January 2019

Subject(s):
Rule of law — Codification — Right to liberty and security of person — Equality before the law — Right to fair trial — Universal international organizations

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) (‘UDHR’) states that ‘it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law’ (para. 3 Preamble UDHR). Agreement as to the importance of the rule of law has often been undermined by uncertainty as to its content. A core definition of the rule of law as it has evolved over time appears to have three elements. 2 First, the power of the State may not be exercised...
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