1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of the Rule of Law

Edited By Michael Sevel Copyright 2025
    444 Pages
    by Routledge

    This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art survey of the study of the rule of law across law, the humanities, and social sciences, as well as insights into the practice of building the rule of law within and among states. Its twenty-eight chapters are by many of the world’s leading scholars of the rule of law, as well as distinguished junior scholars, from a dozen countries and representing a number of academic disciplines. The chapters are ordered to progress, first, from theory to the practice of the rule of law and, second, from the rule of law within, to beyond, the state. They divide into three parts. The first part examines the concept, history, and value of the rule of law. This section considers the importance of political and intellectual history in shaping the concept over the centuries, and takes novel philosophical approaches to the connection between the rule of law and other important ideals such as justice, equality, and civil disobedience. The second part transitions from theoretical studies to accounts of practical exercises in building the rule of law. The chapters consider the challenges of rule of law reform, including the use of local intermediaries facilitating interactions between international legal aid organizations and state governments, the challenges of legal translation across vastly different societies, the pathways of knowledge among the powerless about the protective potential of the rule of law, as well as the possible future for artificial intelligence systems in helping to reinforce rule-of-law principles. The third part examines the rule of law from a number of perspectives within particular supranational and national states, such as the European Union, China, Singapore, and South Africa, among others, and concludes by considering the prospects of the rule of law beyond the state, both within and among international institutions such as the United Nations, as well as non-territorial spaces like the world’s oceans. This Handbook is aimed at rule of law scholars across law, the humanities, and the social sciences, law and development practitioners, policymakers, and advanced students and researchers who seek a state-of-the-art overview of the history, theory, and practice of the rule of law.


    List of contributors

    List of tables


    PART I: The Concept, its History, and Value

    1     The Rule-of-Law Imaginary: Regarding Iustitia

    Jens Meierhenrich

    2     At Present, The Future of the Rule of Law is History

    Paul Burgess

    3     The Rule of Law Through the Ages

    Federica Carugati

    4     What is the Rule of Law? Political, Traditional, Rhetorical

    Julian A. Sempill

    5     Equality and the Rule of Law

    Sophia Moreau

    6     Transnational Justice and the Rule of Law

    Colleen Murphy

    7     Official Rule Departures

    William E. Scheuerman

    8     Lon Fuller and the Rule of Law

    Frederick Schauer

    9     The Value of a Procedural Rule of Law: A Pragmatist Interactional Theory

    Sanne Taekema

    10   The Values of the Rule of Law

    Michael Sevel


    PART II: Politics and Practice


    11   The Rule of Law and the Social Ethos

    Christine Sypnowich

    12   “Politically Smart Legal Adaptation”: A Critical Perspective on Contemporary Rule of      Law Reform

    Deval Desai and Pilar Domingo

    13   How Intermediaries Broker the Rule of Law Transnationally

    Nick Cheesman and Kristina Simion

    14   Wigs for the Whigs: Why the Oppressed in Partial Rule of Law States are not Mystified    and Why We Should Listen to Them

    Paul Gowder

    15   States of Emergency and the Rule of Law

    Alan Greene

    16   Can the Rule of Law Really Replace the Rule of Men and Women?

    Mark Tushnet

    17   The Many Functions of the Rule of Law in Different Contexts

    Laura Nader

    18   Rule of Law and Translation

    Maj Grasten

    19   Artificial Intelligence and the Rule of Law

    Aziz Z. Huq


    PART III: The State and Beyond


    20   South Africa: A Valuable Viewpoint for Considering Contemporary Debates about the      Rule of Law

    Kate O’Regan

    21   Legality, the Rule of Law, and the Path to Inter-legality in the Extra-State Setting

    Gianluigi Palombella

    22   The Rule of Law in Human Rights: The European Example

    Eszter Polgári and András Sajó

    23   Authoritarian Rule of Law Deploys Political Gaslighting: Singapore Legislates Against     Fake News

    Jothie Rajah

    24   Conceptualizing the Chinese Party-State Without the Rule of Law

    Samuli Seppänen

    25   Republicanism and the International Rule of Law

    Frank Lovett

    26   Constitutionalism for International Law

    Carmen Pavel

    27   The United Nations and the Rule of Law

    Hannah Birkenkötter

    28   The Rule of Law at Sea

    Sofia Galani and Michael Sevel


    Michael Sevel is Senior Lecturer in Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney Law School.