WASSCE Government – The Meaning and Importance of the Rule of Law

Reading Time: 3 minutes

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links.

Click here to read the full statement of our affiliate disclaimer.

The purpose of this tutorial is to assist every WASSCE Government student/candidate to easily understand the important concept of the Rule of Law.

As you may be aware, Rule of Law one of the key topics in the WASSCE Government syllabus.

The vital components of this tutorial are:

  • Definition of the Rule of Law
  • Importance of the Rule of Law
  • Factors that limit the Rule of Law in West Africa
  • How to enforce the Rule of Law

Let’s begin with our first major question about the Rule of Law.

What is the meaning of Rule of Law?

The Rule of Law is the restriction of the exercise of power to only what is authorized by law.

It is the supremacy of the law as specified by the constitution of a state. The law is supreme over the political leaders in government and over people making up the state as well.

GET ALL THE TOOLS TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL LEARNER

Education is the most effective key to personal progress. CegastAcademy.com is here to assist you achieve your educational and life goals. We don’t care about your age, location or socio-economic background.

Everybody, in a defined political system, should be subject to the laws of the land.

Professor Albert Venn Dicey (A.V. Dicey), in his book, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution argues that political leaders entrusted with the governance of the country should do so in line with the agreed laws of the land. Failure to do so may result in arbitrary government.

THE MONEY CONVERTER
Instantly check the Nigerian Naira (NGN) equivalent of the Ghana Cedi (GHS). And other world currencies too!

Principles of the Rule of Law

Generally, the Rule of Law has three basic principles namely:

  1. Legality (supremacy of the law): No individual shall be made to suffer in body or property unless for a distinct breach of the law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land.
  2. Impartiality (equality before the law). Every individual regardless of their political views, social or economic status is subject to the ordinary laws of the land. The law is no respecter of persons.
  3. Liberty (constitutional guarantee of citizens’ rights). Such freedoms and rights as relating to speech association, expression, life, ownership of property, unlawful arrest etc. need to be entrenched in the constitution.
Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Following the international commission of jurists’ meeting in India in 1959, it has become imperative for the state to see to the socio-economic well-being of the individual as an integral part of the  effort to promote the rule of law.

The Importance of the Rule of Law

Here are the reasons why it is necessary for a state to practice or enforce the rule of law.

  1. To prevent dictatorship and arbitrary government:  
  2. To protect the  rights and liberties of citizens:  
  3. To improve the standard of living of citizens.
  4. To ensure social and political stability.

Factors That Limit the Practice of the Rule of Law in West African Countries

Below is a list of factors that make it difficult for the rule of law to work effectively in West African countries.

How to Get Your WASSCE Certificate Without Attending Senior High School

  1. Military dictatorships: Military governments rule by decrees which cannot be challenged by citizens. They are not the true representatives of the people and are therefore illegitimate..
  2. One party system: A government is a one-party system is intolerant of divergent views and easily degenerates into dictatorship. One-party system governments are known to trample upon the rights of citizens.
  3. Absence of judicial independence
  4. Corruption in the judiciary
  5. Economic inequalities and lack of social amenities
  6. Widespread ignorance among the citizenry
  7. Special courts e.g. Administrative Tribunals
  8. Outmoded cultural practices e.g. Trokosi (Vestal Virgins) system in parts of Ghana.
  9.  Declaration of a state of emergency.
  10. Diplomatic immunity enjoyed by foreign diplomats.

Factors that Can Promote the Rule of Law

The rule of law has a better chance to work effectively where the following conditions prevail in the state.

Cryptocurrency Certification
  1. All fundamental human rights must be entrenched in the constitution.
  2. There must be the use of prerogative writs such as mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, subpoena and habeas corpus by the courts to control state institutions and officials. This will protect the rights of the people.
  3. The judiciary must be truly independent.
  4. There must be tolerance of opposing views especially on the part of the government.
  5. There must be a free mass media to promote freedom of expression.
  6. Socioeconomic facilities and opportunities must be made available to all.e.g. jobs, education, health, social security, potable water, electricity, housing etc.
  7. Individuals must be educated to have adequate knowledge of their rights and duties.

Before you go …

Discover how you can begin to prepare for life in the real world after leaving school. CLICK HERE.

Subscribe For Latest Updates

Sign up to receive the best of WASSCE study guides &smart skills tips that matter to you.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Ralph Nyadzi is a self-improvement blogger/publisher, internet research addict and a qualified test prep coach. His passion for lifelong learning has equipped him with the right 21st-century tools to successfully coach adult learners to actualize their dreams. Ralph is the founder of RN Digital Media Ent. He publishes on CegastAcademy.com and BloggingtotheMax.

Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph Nyadzi is a self-improvement blogger/publisher, internet research addict and a qualified test prep coach. His passion for lifelong learning has equipped him with the right 21st-century tools to successfully coach adult learners to actualize their dreams. Ralph is the founder of RN Digital Media Ent. He publishes on CegastAcademy.com and BloggingtotheMax.

Say Something About This