The Human Rights Act 1998

For justice to be rendered impartially, while at the same time ensuring the protection of human and fundamental rights of the individual, an independent Judiciary is required. The total confidence of the public in the capability of the Judiciary to function in this manner is essential. In order to protect the individual against the abuses of power, the principle of the independence of the Judiciary was formulated. Hence, it is the duty of the judges to apply the law without any bias, further, this entails applying the relevant domestic and international human rights law1.
In addition to independent and impartial judges, a strong, impartial and just legal system requires independent and impartial prosecutors with an iron resolution to investigate and bring to justice individuals who have committed crimes against humanity, even if these perpetrators are persons acting in an official capacity. There is a very real danger of a culture of impunity taking hold, which will only serve to widen the gap between the general population and the authorities, if judges and prosecutors do not discharge their functions impartially. Whenever justice is not available, people will explore other avenues to secure the same for themselves and this leads to people taking the law into their own hands. Such a trend results in the promotion of violent outbreaks and deterioration of law and order2.
The above discussion ca…
The English Administrative Law is based entirely on this doctrine. The phrase Rule of Law was derived from the French phrase la principle de legalite, which means a Government based on principles of law and not of men. It was invoked against the authoritarian rule of the Crown. The Rule of Law was propounded by A.V. Dicey, the English Jurisprudent. He defined the Rule of Law as ‘Rule of Law means the absolute supremacy of predominance of regular Law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary power and excludes the existence of arbitraryness or prerogative, or even wide discretionary authority on the part of the Government’. Dicey also said that ‘English men are ruled by the Law, and by the Law alone, a man with us may be punishable for a breach of the Law, but can be punished for nothing else’. As such, the doctrine of rule of law was developed and brought into prominence in British Legal system by A.V. Dicey. Dicey’s exposition of the Rule of Law can be described as the locus classicus conception of this contentious theory.
Albeit, one hundred and eighteen years old, all the same it occupies a position central to formalist accounts, epitomizing a viewpoint that is both Whiggish in origin, yet thoroughly modern in application. His ubiquitous slogans are all too familiar: no man is punishable except for a distinct breach of the law. all men are equal before the law and The Constitution is a product of the ordinary law3.
Right from the dawn of civilization Humanity had yearned for respect, tolerance and equality. Although societies have in many aspects made great strides in the technological, political, social and economic fields, contemporary grievances have remained unchanged from thousands of years. As