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It was the rule of law. Will it be the rule of judges?

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  • Enrico Colombatto

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Abstract

The Gregorian revolution introduced the rule of law in the West and created necessary (but not sufficient) conditions for growth to take off. This paper analyzes some of the consequences provoked by the evolution in the notion of the rule of law – from being based upon God-given natural law to relying on popular sovereignty. It concludes that the importance of the rule of law, of the differences in legal systems and of constitutions is probably overstated. It suggests that the successor to the medieval notion of the rule of law is in fact a mix of procedural political correctness, social preferences and efficiency. As a result the main player becomes the judiciary, whose behavioral patterns should become the object of further analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Colombatto, 2007. "It was the rule of law. Will it be the rule of judges?," ICER Working Papers 41-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:41-2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Osborne, Evan, 1999. "Courts as Casinos? An Empirical Investigation of Randomness and Efficiency in Civil Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 187-203, January.
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    9. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "The creation of the rule of law and the legitimacy of property rights : the political and economic consequences of a corrupt privatization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3779, The World Bank.
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