In A.V. Dicey’s view, the constitutional law of England is not the source but the result of the ordinary law of the land. Dicey here merely emphasized the protection of and the enforcement of personal rights and freedoms by the courts even though there may be no written constitution in England conferring such rights. He did not really consider the wider constitutional principles such as the sovereignty of parliament which in essence means that parliament could make laws denying both the right and the remedy and nothing could be done against such law.
While the above is true of England, it is not the same case in all jurisdictions. For instance, in jurisdictions where there are laid down constitutional provisions on human rights like Nigeria, fundamental human rights are entrenched in the constitution by virtue of specific chapters. Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Rule of Law started taking a different dimension in 1948.
It adopted an international status through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was set out by different United Nations Members. This was followed by the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950. In Africa, there has been in recent times a Declaration of Human Rights which African Nations are being encouraged to adopt in their municipal laws and through the regional organizations such as ECOWAS and AU. World jurists have had conventions on the Rule of Law ever since the creation of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. These conventions include:
- The Acts of Athens convention of 1955
- Declaration of Delhi of 1959
- Law of Lagos.