Promoting the rule of law – the international challenge
The rule of law is perceived by many as a theoretical and abstract notion of little practical relevance. But the importance of the rule of law, and the devastating consequences of the absence of the rule of law can be simply horrendous.
That was the message from the Chief Justice from Rwanda, Sam Rugege, who was speaking today (6 May 2012) at the Qatar Law Forum on the Rule of Law. For years – during the genocide – the rule of law was absent. People had no protection from the arbitrary and brutal acts of the state. Judges and lawyers were slaughtered. In the Chief Justice’s words, it was a dark period on Rwandan history.
This global event, with senior legal delegates from over 60 countries, has been highlighting the corrosive effect on people, politics and economies of the lack of the rule of law. Corruption thrives where the rule of law is absent or weak; human rights cannot be asserted where the rule of law is absent or weak.
Countries that enjoy the stability that the rule of law helps to preserve should be supporting those countries where the rule of law is not part of the cultural fabric of those societies.
In this context, the ability to teach the public of law about law and the principles of the rule of law are an essential part of citizenship education.
For more detail about the Qatar Law Forum, go to http://www.qatarlawforum.com/
Extracts from the conference can also be seen on facebook and youtube.