Kamis, 21 Mei 2009


What is 'Rule of Law'? It is not possible to give an unequivocal answer to this question. Concepts of Rule of Law and Rechtsstaatb have varied from one place to the other and over time and no one has ever come up with a definition generally agreed upon. As a result there often is a profound degree of misunderstanding between legal scholars and others when discussing 'Rule of Law'.

Cenceptions of Rule of Law can be devided into two general types, thin and thick. A thin conception stresses the formal or instrumental aspects of Rule of Law - those features that any legal system allgedly must posses to function effectively as a system of laws, regardless of whether the legal system is part of a democratic or non-democratic society, capitalis, liberal or theocratic.

A thick or substantive conception of Rule of Law, on the other hand, is characterized by Peerenboom as a state with the basic elements of a thin Rule of Law state plus elements of political morality 'such as particular economic arrangements (free-market capitalism, central planning,'Asia developmental state' or other varieties of capitalism), forms of government (democratic, socialist, soft authoritarian) or conceptions of human rights (liberatian, classical liberal, social welfare liberal, communitarian, 'Asia values' etc).