The Rule of Law
The rule of law can be traced back to the ancient England in the seventeenth century. It appeared first as a result of a development of a great effort for supremacy rather than as the result of premeditated endeavors. However it remained long enough for it to be put into practice even in the world of today.
The privileges of persons are determined by legal rules and not by the uninformed behavior of powers that the individual possesses. There can be no punishment unless a court decides there has been an infringement of law. Everyone is subject to the law regardless of his position and leadership roles in society.
The most important element of the Rule of Law is that an individual’s liberty is dictated and depended on it. Adherence to the rule of law and the benefits it brings to the society is depended on the role of trial by the jury and the neutrality of judges in the legal system of any state or nation. It also depends on three precise Orders.
The three prerogative orders include; the calling of a case up from a lower court to a higher one to ensure justice is done, the prohibition prevents a lower court from trying a case it does not have the power to listen to and the commanding of a lower court to carry out its respective duties.
A social contract implies that an individual should be able to submit to the authority which rules the land for that particular nation or society to sustain or mutually safeguard its social order.
Social contract hypothesis provides the basis behind the common historically important idea in practice today where the legal state authority must be derived from the consent of the people being governed.
There reaches a position in the state of nature when individuals need to merge forces in order to live on. The difficulty resolved by the social contract is how individuals can attach themselves to one another and still safeguard their freedom.
The social contract in essence states that each individual must abide by the contract unconditionally so as to safeguard the common good of all the people in the society. Social contracts make people submit to the binding contract unconditionally, the individual has no privileges that can stand in opposition to the state and that, as no one is above the other, individuals don’t lose their natural freedom through engaging themselves in the social contracts.
Benefits of a Social Contract
It provides an apparent ethical analysis of problems regarding relationships between individuals and government (crime and punishment). A social contract brings a universal will, which dictates the actions of the person and on the common good of all individuals since each one of us usually puts himself fast in all the places where his rights and others come first at the same time.
Our society usually creates its own kind of freedom from moral and natural mechanisms and by allowing ourselves to be controlled by the general will, we then allow ourselves to be driven by our conscious minds or innate humanity.
Drawbacks of a Social Contract
As Rawls documented in his 1958 book titled “Justice as Fairness” one way for parties to determine their disagreements on a social contract is by utilizing bargaining solutions. Rawls himself discarded bargaining solutions to the social contract since, in his view, such solutions can cause danger. As a result of this, there can be a threat to the advantage of a social contract which is barely an instrument to achieve fairness”.
There should be a well-set system to create awareness to the public to enable individuals to understand their rights and the functions of the rule of law and social contracts in sustaining a common good.
Christopher G. Justice without frontiers: Overview of human rights. USA: McGraw Hill publishers.
Carroll Anderson. An overview: Rousseau’s works. Indianapolis: Liberty publication, 1979.
Rawls, H., Justice as fairness. London: Oxford publishers, 1958.