Perspectives On The Rule Of Law In A Modern Democracy

AuthorAdrian-Gabriel Dinescu
LESIJ NO. XXV, VOL. 1/2018
Adrian-Gabriel DINESCU
The nurturing pr esence of law within a sta te is, in a modern society, not open for debate. In
fact, the absence of law or the la ck of its enforcement has been considered as the main symptom of
failed states. But the concept of rule of law has evolved along with society, along with the principles
that drive it. Thus, this concept hasn’t always been the same a nd will not be the sa me in the future.
Whilst in the time before the F rench Revolution, the rule of law meant the r ule of an absolute head
of state anointed by the divine, the people simply abiding by his will, a fter the F rench Revolution the
concept changed, the sta te remained powerful, but under a collective rule. The roa d had been opened
for the modern democracies. As the 19th century grew to a close, the modern state had been born in the
Western democracies, a modern state which still held a tight g rip on the individual. After the
devastating effects of the First and the Second World Wars, the state was once a gain reformed, in a
more subtle manner: its strength was reduced in fa vor of the individual who considered the collective
interests of society to be inferior to his per sonal interests and needs: post-modernism was born, a
thought-current which has ha d influence on all fields of human life, including the concept of rule of
Keywords: rule of law, democracy, separa tion of powers, French Revolution, post-modernism.1.
The dawn of law
1. Introduction
First of all, we need to define law as
being mandatory g uidelines within society
set forth by a ruling body.
Secondly, the ruling body that
mandates these laws can take many forms in
accordance with the development of each
society. Thus, looking in our distant or not
too distant past, we can identify many ways
in which a society and the leaders of that
society impose their will on the majority of
the population.
Most of history, the ruling classes,
governments, leaders have not been elected
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, Nicolae Titulescu University, Bucharest (e-mail:
by the majority, but have either been
hereditary (absolute monarchy etc.),
theocratic (any form of rule in which the
domineering classes are considered to be
instated by divinity), dictatorial etc.
In any case, most of human history has
seen a manner of leadership or rule that has
been abso lute, to talitarian. We must not
come to the conclusion that single rulers
have imposed their will with iron fists and
the rest of society was more or less
composed of slaves, but we must
acknowledge that be it one ruler, a council of
rulers or a body of leaders, the ruling
minority imposed its will upon the
subservient minority.

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