Legal State: Concept And Main Features

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Legal State: Concept And Main Features
Legal State: Concept And Main Features

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The concept of "rule of law" is one of the basic categories of the science of state and law. This is the name of the ideal type of state, the activity of which is subject to strict observance of legislative norms, the rights and freedoms of citizens.

Legal state: concept and main features
Legal state: concept and main features

The concept of the rule of law

Under the rule of law, they mean such a way of organizing power, when the rule of law, human rights and freedoms prevail in the country.

J. Locke, C. Montesquieu and other thinkers of past centuries were also the exponents of the ideas that later became the basis of the concept of the rule of law, but an integral concept of this kind was formed in the era of the formation of bourgeois society. The basis for the formation of views on the nature of state power was the criticism of feudal lawlessness and arbitrariness, which reigned in the complete absence of responsibility of the authorities to society. The provisions on the leading role of the rule of law were embodied in the legislative institutions of France and the United States at the end of the 18th century. The term “rule of law” took root in the works of German thinkers in the first decades of the 19th century.

Legal state: signs and principles of organization

Essential features that distinguish the rule of law:

  • the rule of law in all areas of society;
  • equality before the law of all citizens;
  • separation of powers;
  • legal protection of a person;
  • human rights, individual freedoms are becoming the greatest value;
  • stability of law and order in society.

In a state governed by the rule of law, the law dominates in all spheres of life without exception, not excluding the sphere of government. Human rights and freedoms are protected and guaranteed by law, recognized by the authorities. A person receives such rights from birth, they are not bestowed by rulers. There is a mutual responsibility of the citizen and government agencies. The principle of separation of powers does not provide any opportunity for anyone to monopolize political power in the country. The implementation of laws is monitored by courts, prosecutors, human rights defenders, the media, and other political actors.

The mere presence of a system of law and legislation in a particular state does not allow us to consider it legal, since the very process of drafting laws and their enactment can be aimed at supporting despotic forms of government. Under a totalitarian regime, where constitutionalism is sham, human rights and freedoms are just proclaimed. In a truly rule-of-law state, the supremacy of the rights of the individual and his freedoms cannot be violated by representatives of the authorities.

Law and the rule of law

Basically, the idea of ​​the rule of law is aimed at establishing limits on the strength of the state through legal norms. The implementation of this principle makes it possible to ensure social security and safety of a person in his interaction with the authorities.

One of the signs of the rule of law is the presence of a Constitutional Court in the country. This institution is a kind of guarantor of the stability of the existing system, ensures the legality and observance of the Constitution.

In a state governed by the rule of law, no authority (except for the highest legislative body) can change the adopted law; legal regulations cannot be in conflict with the law. The state, represented by its officials, is bound in its actions by legislative norms. The state that issued the law does not have the right to violate it or interpret it at its own discretion; this principle eliminates arbitrariness and permissiveness on the part of bureaucratic structures.

The rule of law and civil society

Civil society is understood as a legal society in which democratic freedoms and human value are recognized. This type of social structure arises only where there are developed legal, economic and political relations. In civil society, one can observe high moral and ethical qualities of citizens.

This type of society is inextricably linked with the considered concept of the rule of law, where political power expresses the interests of the majority of citizens. The rule of law and the refusal of total control, non-interference in the life of society lead to the fact that social ties and relations no longer depend on the state and its individual structures.

Features of the legal society and the state

The most important features of the rule of law are the recognition of the sovereignty of the people, the approval of its source of power, the protection of the interests of any of the citizens, regardless of their social status.

In a state governed by the rule of law, religious organizations, political or public associations cannot give orders to those who conduct state affairs. The order of work of power structures is determined by the country's constitution and legal acts based on it. Violations of this principle can be found in some countries of the Muslim world, where religious leaders have uncontrolled power; something similar happened in medieval Europe, when the authority of the church was not challenged by anyone.

The cornerstone in the construction of a state governed by the rule of law is the separation of the executive branch from the judicial and legislative branches. The principle of separation of powers enables society to control the work of parliament, government and courts. A special system of balances does not allow the branches of government to violate the norms established by law, restricts their powers.

In a state governed by the rule of law, there is mutual responsibility between the structures of power and the individual. Any relationship between leaders of all levels and citizens of the country is based on the recognition of the rule of law. Any impact on a person that is not determined by the requirements of the law is considered a violation of civil liberties. But the citizen, in turn, must reckon with the requirements of the law and the decisions of state bodies based on them.

The rule of law can require its citizens to perform only those actions that do not go beyond the clear framework of the legal field. An example is the payment of taxes, which is considered a constitutional duty of citizens. Violation of the legal requirements of the state entails sanctions on its part.

One of the duties of the rule of law is the fulfillment of rights and civil liberties, ensuring security in society and the integrity of the person.

The rule of law assumes that any issues and conflicts that may arise in the state are resolved on the basis of legal norms. The provisions of the basic law are strictly valid throughout the country, without exceptions and restrictions. The regulations adopted at the local level cannot contradict the norms of the constitution.

The highest value in a state governed by the rule of law is the guarantees of the rights and freedoms of every person. The leading place in the complex system of priorities of the rule of law is occupied by the interests of the citizen, his right to freedom and independence. However, freedom is seen as an awareness of the need to act not so much in their own interests as for the benefit of the whole society, without infringing on the interests of other citizens.

Formation of the rule of law in Russia

The developing Russian state, as stated by the Constitution, seeks to become social and legal. The policy of the state is aimed at creating such conditions that guarantee the all-round development and dignified life of a person.

In order to form the basis for the rule of law, the state assumes the following main responsibilities:

  • ensuring social justice;
  • ensuring the minimum wage;
  • support for family, childhood, motherhood, etc.;
  • development of social services;
  • establishment of significant guarantees of social protection;
  • prevention of radical property stratification.

It is necessary to distinguish the officially recognized principles of the rule of law from the state and legal reality. The very fact of the proclamation of the rule of law in the country does not at all testify in favor of the fact that it has already been built. Formation of a society dominated by law goes through a number of stages and can take a long time.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation determined that there are three main branches of government in the country:

  • legislative;
  • executive;
  • judicial.

There are also power structures that are not included in any of the branches (for example, the Central Bank and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation).

In modern Russia, the rule of law has not yet become an unshakable principle of the work of state structures. Often, citizens have to face the arbitrariness of individual officials and human rights violations by bureaucratic structures. Effective protection of citizens' freedoms is far from always ensured. However, the very fact that the rule on the rule of law is enshrined in the law prompts the institutions of civil society and all branches of government to improve legal relations, contributes to the creation of a legal culture.

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