Rule of Law, Contesting and Contested

Keywords: Rechtsstaat, État de droit, democracy, constitutionalism, judicialisation, UN, EU


The rule of law movement is a by-product of the post-WWII rebirth of human rights, which turned into a key political issue by the turn of the millennium. By becoming part of the language and blackmailing practice of international politics, it has self-emptied as well. It is an ideal; historically a function of human experience at individual places and times, shaped by local traditions. As a complex of heterogeneous values and principles, its ethos can at best be respected and approached via the never-ending balancing of compromise solutions.