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Features of the Rule of Law - The Law Must Afford Adequate Protection of Fundamental Human Rights


Dicey did not include human rights in the concept of ROL. However, both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ECHR have referred to this notion.

It is difficult to accept the idea of a state with no rule of law, but at the same time ale to protect human rights in an effective way (even if some have argued it is possible).

Obviously, every state can decide what rights it will protect by law (and which sanctions it will impose for breach). De facto there is no universal consensus on the rights and freedoms which are fundamental, even among civilized nations. However, within a given society there is ordinarily a large measure of agreement on it, at least in a specific time.
For example, the UK gave direct effect to the ECHR in 1998 by the Human Rights Act: the country recognized the rights and freedoms embodied in the Conventions as "fundamental", in the sense that they had necessarily to be guaranteed in a free and democratic society such as the UK, which has therefore responded to one of the requirement of the ROL, that is the protection (through law) of fundamental human rights. There are probably rights which could be added to the Convention, but non which could safely be eliminated.
di Luca Porcella
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