Due process, as part of the ideal of Rule of Law

  • Due process, as part of the ideal of Rule of Law, means more than just a day in court for the victim or maintaining that the accused be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • In fact, as part of the Rule of Law, it means that all persons in a state are bound by and entitled to the equal benefit of laws publicly administered by courts.
  • Thus, our expectation from the Rule of Law should not only be to be governed by, but also be equally benefitted by the law.
  • This insistence on equal benefit of the law forms a part of the thick account of the Rule of Law, which embraces human rights, substantive equality and transformative justice.
  • Substantive equality itself is concerned with not only a redressal of structures of disadvantage, but also a sense of transformative justice, which seeks to overturn these structures and reimagine systems and practices which are defined by equal concern and respect for all.
  • Social movements such as #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, or Occupy, because ultimately, their success depends on their transformative vision. If we are to break the cycle of disadvantage for women and other disadvantaged groups, we need to be able to posit a transformative agenda which is both critical of due process here and now, and appreciative of its normative significance in struggles for equality and justice.


Leave a Reply