Article Title

Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


The rule of law provides two basic protections against arbitrary or discriminatory government action. It provides that the rule applied to a particular case must be reasonably predictable. And it provides that the rule must be predictable without regard for the identity of the parties. We know the importance that the rule of law has for our society, our democracy, and the kind of civilization we want, but we rarely take the time to think about what the components of the rule of law are and how we assure that the rule of law continues. Why has this country been successful—much more successful than most societies—in preserving the rule of law? How can we continue to be successful? How can we lead societies emerging into the democratic arena to adopt the rule of law and then protect and preserve it?