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The Historical Evolution of Rule of Law Concept

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The history of the Rule of Law dates back to the theories of early philosophers. As stated by Aristotle, “The Rule of Law is preferable to that of any individual”. Adopting this theory to that period (Middlees), Brn, the 13th century was of the opinion that, “the King Agactoin

himself ought not to be subject to man but subject to God, and the law because the law makes the king”.

This was the extent to which the early philosophers could stretch the rule of law. Much later, John Locke on the same concept added that; “Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone of that society, and made by legislative power created in it and not be subject to the constant and unknown arbitrary will of another man.

However, at the end of the nineteenth century A.V. Dicey described the principle of the rule of law as one of the two basic principles of the English Constitution. During the last thirty years, prominent jurists have devoted much attention to the study of the ideals of the rule of law. In Nigeria, the Supreme Court has emphasized on several occasions the importance and continuing relevance of the idea of the rule of law even in the context of a military government. A very careful analysis of this idea is especially topical in Nigeria going by its implication as provided in the 1999 Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

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