Rules and the Rule of Law


Rules that regulate behavior

Rules regulate behavior by defining the relation between two or more stimuli. This usually alters the behavior that the stimulus induces. For instance, if a person hears a Beatles song, he may want to call the radio station to get a copy of the song. However, if the radio station has not announced the song, the person is unlikely to call. This gives the song a strong capacity to regulate behavior.

Another important role of rules is to affect sensitivity to consequences. When rules are accurate, they make people more sensitive to the consequences of their actions. On the other hand, when rules are inaccurate, they can lead to rigid behavior because people tend to respond the same way regardless of the consequences. It is therefore critical to describe operant interventions accurately before putting them into place.

Formal and procedural character

There are two types of rules in a legal system: procedural rules and formal rules. The latter deal with the manner in which a community’s norms are administered, while the former addresses the institutions necessary to implement those norms. The latter are often the more controversial. But both types of rules can contribute to the establishment of a Rule of Law.

One of the common characteristics of law is that it is made by a legislative process, and the legal system is the vehicle for enactment of it. The legislative process involves powerful officials, and the end result of that process is a law.

Substantive ideals

In order to achieve justice, a society must adhere to substantive ideals of law. These ideals ensure that individuals are treated fairly, and that there is equality of rights and protection in the law. They are also important to the rule of law, and the separation of powers. Without these ideals, the rule of law would not be very effective and could result in arbitrary decisions.

Substantive ideals of law may be viewed as the original rights of individuals. These rights may be found in a constitution, statutes, or common law. For example, a common law right to sue for negligence, fraud, or breach of contract would be a substantive right. Similarly, a state or federal statute giving employees the right to sue for employment discrimination would be substantive law.

Civil society

Civil society is a complex and layered concept. It resists being reduced to a single theoretical lens. It describes the social action that takes place within voluntary associations and intermediary bodies. In the 21st century, however, it has found more resonance. It remains a powerful concept, but it needs to be characterized and conceptualized more precisely.

The enabling legal environment of a civil society can facilitate the development of such organizations. The legal environment must ensure that these organizations are free to engage in their core functions without interference from outside sources.


The legitimacy of a law is an important issue in political philosophy of law. It is an important issue because the legitimacy of a law is one of the primary ways that it can promote social order. The question of legitimacy is related to the nature of the law itself, who should make it, and why. This question has many different interpretations.

The legality of a law does not make an action right or unreservedly sanctioned by society. Few people are willing to become compliant with the government overnight, and few will be able to make a complete change in their minds overnight. Similarly, a definition in Webster’s dictionary does not necessarily alter the meaning of a word. In fact, it may obscure the concept of a tree.