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Rule of Law
(999 words)

[German Version]

In the broad sense, a state under the rule of law is a state bound by the law (Law and legislation). Because the concept of “law” is so indefinite (predefined law to be followed by the state versus law made by the state), such a definition means little. The German equivalent (Rechtsstaat) was first used by Carl Theodor Welcker in 1813, in a sense foreshadowed by I. Kant: “The state is an association of people, based on laws and justice” (Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797, Rechtsleh re, §45; ET: The Metaphysics of Morals, 1996). These laws are laws dictated by reason, which th…

Cite this page
Starck, Christian, “Rule of Law”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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