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Principles of the Rule of Law

Commentary on the Rule of Law

Education Resources

Court Education Program

About Us

At its most basic level, the rule of law is the concept that both the government and citizens know the law and obey it.

About Us

The Rule of Law Education Centre was formed in 2015 and is an independent, politically non-partisan, gift deductible entity formed to educate Australians about the Magna Carta and Rule of Law.

All the way back to the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215, the foundations of an independent judiciary, the separation of powers, punishment according to the law and a fair trial, were introduced for the protection of individual rights and holding the King to account. These foundations protected against arbitrary rule and ensured those in power were held accountable according to the law. 

Australia’s foundations in a democracy under the rule of law are based upon the legacy of the Magna Carta. They rely on the ability of all people to have their say and to hold those in power to account.  

For democracy under the rule of law to survive, Australian students must have the understanding and tools to be active and informed citizens, who at times can criticise those in power and ensure they act according to the law. Australian students need to value the institutions and processes that provide checks and balances and avenues to raise concerns such as a free press, independent judiciary and parliamentary process and review.

And this is what we do at the Rule of Law Education Centre. We are the Champions of the Rule of Law and democracy in schools and in the community. We fill the gap that the government funded organisations cannot do, lest they bite the hand that feeds them.

We do this by

The Rule of Law Education Centre and our sister organisation, the Rule of Law Institute of Australia are apolitical.  The rule of law is above politics. In order to remain effective advocates for the rule of law, we must remain free to criticise both sides of politics when, in our assessment, they threaten the principles of the rule of law.

Why the rule of law and Magna Carta are relevant today

The rule of law is an idea that all people, including those in power, should be ruled by the law and be willing to live by and obey its expectations. These important ideals come from a period 800 years ago, when King John of England was forced to agree to the terms and conditions of a Great Charter, later to become known as the Magna Carta.

These clauses were based on the expectation that everyone, including the King, would be ruled by the law and abide by it, as well as deliver justice in accordance with the law.  

Where there is no rule of law, arbitrary rule can take over in the form of authoritarianism or anarchy.

Important checks and balances are notably absent under these conditions encouraging corruption and violence, resulting in dangerous and unpredictable societies.

Education Resources on the Magna Carta

To help Australians understand the important legacy of the Magna Carta in society today, the Rule of Law Education team has created videos, posters and explainers including:

– Magna Carta and Human Rights
– Magna Carta and Checks and Balances
– Magna Carta in Australia today

Education Resources on the Rule of Law

We use the Rule of Law Wheel to explain what we mean by the rule of law. The Rule of Law Wheel illustrates the key principles, institutions and checks and balances that are present in a society that operates under the Rule of Law. 

The following principles are fundamental to the rule of law;

Our Education Resources have been created by our team of teachers and support knowledge development that aligns with syllabuses Australia wide, but also helps to create critical thinkers that will question decision making by those in power – government, executive or judiciary. 

All our resources can be found on our Education Page or by clicking the below buttons.

Top Education Resources in 2023/24:

Latest Articles and Resources

Rule of Law Lecture Sofronoff 2024

by | Jun 15, 2024 | All Posts | 0 Comments

Rule of Law: Robin Speed Memorial Address Given by Mr Sofronoff KCPart 1: Introduction - The speaker Mr Sofronoff KC - Why has the Rule of Law arisen in human...

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by | May 30, 2024 | Commentary,Education | 0 Comments

Civics education, engagement, and participation in Australia Submission to Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters- Inquiry into civics education, engagement, and...

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by | May 15, 2024 | All Posts,Australian Colonies | 0 Comments

The Supreme Court in NSWCelebrating 200 years of the NSW Supreme CourtThis resource was created to celebrate the New South Wales Supreme Court's 200th year anniversary...

Human Rights Videos with Lorraine Finlay

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Education,Human Rights | 0 Comments

Human Rights Videos Release of new videos chatting to Lorraine Finlay, Australian Human Rights Commissioner  The team at the Rule of Law Education Centre are...

Lehrmann Defamation Case

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Civil,Commentary | 0 Comments

The lion’s den The strange phenomenon of self-defeating defamation cases  Article by Professor Katy Barnett, Professor at Melbourne Law School First Published on...

Juggling Competing Needs Justice System

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Education,Human Rights | 0 Comments

NSW Legal Studies Association Conference  27 March 2024Click here for Human Rights PosterClick here for presentation slidesClick here to sign up for the webinar on 1...

Keli Lane Case note

by | Mar 22, 2024 | All Posts | 0 Comments

Keli Lane Case NoteThe Keli Lane case has captured the attention of the Australian public for over a decade since questions first emerged regarding the disappearance of...

NSW History Draft v2 Feedback

by | Feb 29, 2024 | All Posts,Democracy,Education | 0 Comments

Version 2 Draft Syllabus for the Proposed History Curriculum NSW Stages 1 - 5 05 March 2024Further Reports: a) 11 September 2023 Rule of Law Education Submission on v1...

Protector of the Rule of Law Award 2023

by | Jan 25, 2024 | All Posts,Court Excursion,Democracy,Education | 0 Comments

The Rule of Law Education Centre is delighted to announce that the Rule of Law Education Centre’s Protector of the Law Award will be presented to: Deputy Chief...

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