Rule of Law

Ideally, we would not need speed cameras to encourage us to do the right speed. But look at any camera and you will see cars braking. So it is all too clear that society needs laws to organise what we do and encode what is right and wrong. Laws do not stand on their own – they reflect the values of society, which is why laws cannot function when imposed on another culture.

However, many of the basic areas we feel the need for law to regulate are ancient and shared across the globe. The ten commandments, appearing in broadly similar form in Qu’ran, Torah and New Testament, already define the areas of law: Do not steal, do not kill – the beginnings of the criminal bar; do not covet – property law; always give full measure – the start of commercial law;┬áhonour your parents – family law. ┬áThere is also the idea of perjury – do not bear false witness.

Enshrining long held moral, often religious, values and enforcing them through the rule of law allows a society to thrive on an agreed basis. Those laws are made by us, not done to us, through Parliament which ties in with the Fundamental Value of Democracy.

Law may be ancient in many of its principles but it must always respond to context. Should the state be able to read your emails?