The Business Mirror – an online business publication from the Phillipines recently published an interesting editorial examining the rule of law. The title – ‘The Rule of Law. So What?’

The editorial includes insights into differing philosophical and legal perspectives on the rule of law.

By definition, the rule of law is “the principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by decisions of individual government officials.” Laws then should be the regulations that pass from government to government regardless who might temporarily hold the power.

But, in actual practice, this rule of law thing is complicated. “Thou shall not kill” becomes “Thou shall not murder,” to which is added “unless it is a justifiable homicide.” And still the rule of law requires that determination of guilt or innocence is required in every individual case. It is as if the law is not absolute but only a guideline.

The author advocates the benefit of reform strengthening the rule of law for improving  economic growth.

… when reforms that are necessary to strengthen the rule of law are implemented quickly, economic growth is positively affected just as rapidly. This was shown in several South American countries, including Chile.