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The Rule of Law, Freedom, and Prosperity

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  • Todd J. Zywicki
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    After decades of neglect, the rule of law is much on the minds of legal scholars today. In the United States, the Supreme Court's controversial decision in Bush v. Gore has triggered renewed interest in understanding the concept of the rule of law and its value to society. Transition and developing economies have increasingly come to recognize the importance of the rule of law in establishing a framework for economic growth and individual liberty. This essay provides an overview of these debates over the concept and consequences of the rule of law. Although American scholars have criticized the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore as violative of the rule of law, this criticism rests on an erroneous understanding of the rule of law. The tradition of the rule of law, as expressed by Dicey, Oakeshott, Hayek, and others, is consistent with the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore. Moreover, this tradition of the rule of law is a cornerstone of a free and prosperous society, in America and abroad.

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    Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 27-2002.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: May 2002
    Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:27-2002
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