Handbook on the Rule of Law
Show Less

Handbook on the Rule of Law

Edited by Christopher May and Adam Winchester

The discussion of the norm of the rule of law has broken out of the confines of jurisprudence and is of growing interest to many non-legal researchers. A range of issues are explored in this volume that will help non-specialists with an interest in the rule of law develop a nuanced understanding of its character and political implications. It is explicitly aimed at those who know the rule of law is important and while having little legal background, would like to know more about the norm.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: The rule of law: An outline of its historical foundations

Pietro Costa

Abstract

The idea of a government according to the law, of a power subjected to the law, draws strength from its opposite, from the idea of an arbitrary and ‘absolute’ sovereignty, exempt from rules because superior to them. The chapter deals with the remote roots of this basic contrast, from Antiquity to the revolutions of the late eighteenth century. Throughout this long period voluntas and ratio, power and law confront each other, but only gradually the main content of the law, or at least its principal function, tends to coincide with the allocation of absolute rights to individuals.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.