Here are Tom Bingham’s views on what we mean when we talk about the Rule of Law.
1. The law must be accessible and so far as possible intelligible, clear and predictable.
2. Questions of legal right and liability should ordinarily be resolved by the application of the law and not the exercise of discretion.
3. The laws of the land should apply equally to all, save to the extent that objective differences justify differentiation.
4. Ministers and public officers at all levels must exercise the powers conferred on them in good faith, fairly, for the purpose for which the powers were conferred, without exceeding the limits of such powers and not unreasonably.
5. The law must provide adequate protection of fundamental human rights.
6. Means must be provided for resolving, without prohibitive cost or inordinate delay, bona fide civil disputes which the parties themselves are unable to resolve.
7. Adjudicative procedures provided by the state should be fair.
8. The rule of law requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international as in national law.