The rule of law

Standing soberly, even defiantly, between us and mob rule is the law.

It’s not just our physical safety and security which is safe-guarded. The protection of our property rights and the enforcement of everyday agreements is at the heart of what we in the Anglosphere take for granted.

We are exceptionally good at the rule of law. It truly sets us apart.

Judges

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland each has its legal variations, of course. However, at the root of each country is the English common law and its rights gradually evolved over a millennium.

If our sophisticated legal systems were somehow weakened from within over time or ruptured suddenly by some calamity, it would do untold damage to our way of life. Recreating civil society to the level of sophistication, transparency and openness we have today would take many generations.

Our people have, in essence, devised a way to replace mob rule with a dispassionate, unbiased arbiter. Instead of lawlessness and rule by the strongest, we have a system which approximates and strives valiantly for equal rights under the law for all.

Of course there will be arguments around the edges and emerging franchises. And this is good, because the law must be tested and made relevant to the context of the times. That trait of the common law makes us stronger.

Now, it’s true that the Anglosphere countries don’t have a monopoly on the rule of law. But in a world of 200 countries, there are approximately 30 which have honest, fairly applied laws. At the heart of those 30, with by far the longest history and success with jurisprudence evolution, are the six Anglosphere countries. In my opinion, our six do it best.

For the remaining 170, there is a lack of legal sophistication, corruption, a failure to protect basic human rights and any combination of these. To a lesser or greater degree, the rule of law there is truncated or absent.

If you live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Ireland, cherish your fair and transparent judiciary bequeathed to us from one thousand years of hard-won improvements.

Let us celebrate the rule of law.

The alternative is far too grim.

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