The three elements for the Rule of Law.
- First, that there should be no sanction without breach, meaning that nobody should be punished by the state unless they had broken a law.
- Secondly, that one law should govern everyone, including both ordinary citizens and state officials.
- Thirdly, that the rights of the individual were not secured by a written constitution, but by the decisions of judges in ordinary law.
The real importance of the rule of law today lies in the basic idea underlying all three points (but especially the first) that the state should use its power according to agreed rules, and not arbitrarily.