Principles of the Rule of Law

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

Recent Blog & News

ICAC Stats: Impact no exoneration

by | Dec 7, 2023 | All Posts,ICAC | 0 Comments

Part II: Human Rights Breaches- Arbitrary Interference on Right to Privacy  How does NSW ICAC measure up?NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption ("ICAC") first...

NSW History Curriculum Review Letter MPS

by | Nov 23, 2023 | All Posts,Education | 0 Comments

See our letter to all NSW MPs asking them to take action to add explicit civic content to the NSW Curriculum

VCTA Commview 23

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Education | 0 Comments

Held in Melbourne on 20th and 21st NovemberMISSED OUT ON YOUR FREE BOOK AT COMMVIEW23? Are you a teacher in Victoria who is keen to use the story of the Kables, a...

Referendum Process and why Australians voted no

by | Oct 25, 2023 | All Posts | 0 Comments

The real cause for the rejection of the Voice to Parliament in the 2023 Referendum probably and why people voted No has as much to do with the referendum process as it does with the substance of the proposed new entity.

1 July 1788 Original Court Documents for Cable v Sinclair

by | Sep 28, 2023 | Australian Colonies,Kables | 0 Comments

Shoutout to NSW State Archives for providing us with a copy of the original transcript for the first Civil Case in NSW between a poor convict couple and a powerful ships captain over a parcel of goods lost on the First Fleet.

Claims Yes No Referendum Pamphlet

by | Sep 22, 2023 | All Posts | 0 Comments

Confused by some of the contradictory claims on the yes no pamphlet? one of our paralegals looked at the legal basis of yes and no cases

Voice: Legal Realities and Both Sides Debate

by | Sep 20, 2023 | All Posts | 0 Comments

Discussion on the legal realities of the Voice, featuring two legal experts, Professor Greg Williams on NO side of the voice debate, and Chris Merritt on the YES side. The Debate can be found at https://youtu.be/AULx4WKDkPY. This document outlines the points made by both experts during the debate.

NSW History Curriculum Review 2023

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Education | 0 Comments

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) submission regarding the draft syllabus for the proposed History Curriculum NSW Stages 1-5.

The Voice Referendum and the Constitution

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Constitution | 0 Comments

What is the purpose of the Constitution and what are the key features of Government outlined in it? including separation of powers and division of powers. How will the Voice to Parliament impact the Constitution? What are both sides of the YES and NO argument

About Us

Rule of Law Education Centre was formed in 2009 and is an independent, politically non-partisan, gift deductible entity formed to uphold the rule of law in Australia. The Centre educates and informs about how the Magna Carta and subsequent rule of law principles have impacted and contributed to the history, culture and legal processes of Australia and to strengthen the rule of law and human rights through education.

The Rule of Law Education Centre and our sister organisation, the Rule of Law Institute of Australia do not take an institutional position on the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament beyond a consideration of relevant principles of the Rule of Law.  We are, of necessity, apolitical. 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.

Unlike some companies and sporting clubs, it is not our role to tell you how to vote. It is our role to outline the principles of the rule of law, explain why they are important and then leave it to people to make up their own minds. 

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.

The following principles are fundamental to the rule of law

  • All people are ruled by the law
  • The law is clear, known, and enforced
  • The judicial system is independent and resolves disputes in a fair and
    public manner
  • All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty
  • Checks and balances such as the separation of powers, limit the use of
    government power

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.

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