UW Law Library Repository Logo

The Myth of the Rule of Law

Item

Title

The Myth of the Rule of Law

Creator

Date

1995

Published In

Volume

1995

Bibliographic Citation

1995 Wis. L. Rev. 199 (1995)

Abstract

Commitment to the rule of law is one of the core values of a liberal legal system. The adherents of such a system usually regard the concept of a "government of laws and not people" as the chief protector of the citizens' liberty. This Article argues that such is not the case. It begins with what is intended as an entertaining reprise of the main jurisprudential arguments designed to show that there is, in fact, no such thing as a government of laws and not people and that the belief that there is constitutes a myth that serves to maintain the public's support for society's power structure. It then suggests that the maintenance of liberty requires not only the abandonment of the ideal of the rule of law, but the commitment to a monopolistic legal system as well, The Article concludes by suggesting, in a somewhat fanciful way, that the preservation of a truly free society requires liberating the law from state control to allow for the development of a market for law.