Rule of law which can ensure honesty, responsibility and lack of shirking among bureaucrats

Exploring the most appropriate rule of law which can ensure honesty, responsibility and lack of shirking among bureaucrats. Explain and illustrate

1.     Introduction

Law protects a society from anarchism[1]. It is a set of conducts that is recognized and imposed by a supreme authority to ensure and uphold orderly coexistence in the society[2]. Law refers to a “command taking place from the supreme political authority of a state and addressed to the persons who are subject to that authority”[3]. Law helps the society, citizens and civilization to live together peacefully by providing them with a guideline about how to behave, how to act in social and business life, how to settle the conflicts between multiples parties.

Right use of law is essential for any countries or nations for its expansion and success. In the modern societies law provides safety and assurance from frauds and crimes while dong business and any kinds of transactions. Because of this, people can plan ahead by knowing that the state will stand beside them with its rules and regulations if they fall victim to any crimes. Law serves as boundaries to let people know where and when they are committing an offence so that they could stay out of it. The state will be there to provide shelter to helpless people and encourage grace of salvation[4] or protection from iniquity in the society.

Law enforcement authority and the government has to carry the most important role to maintain proper law and order in the society, by using warning and wisdom when applying their power to apply rules and regulations. Their careful approach is necessary to avoid any arbitrary use of power against anyone in the society or using law without any appropriate cause or ground. Arbitrary use of power only makes the legal environment of a country instable and propels a sense of insecurity among its citizens.

2.     Right use of law and right order in society protect us from crime and encourage the grace of salvation

2.1.          Grace of Salvation:

The term “Grace of Salvation” is a spiritual term of Christians. The precise meaning of Grace is “a state of sanctification by God” and Salvation is “the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil”[5]. According to Christian belief, Jesus came to ask people for repentance if they commit any crime, and only then God will bless them with kindness[6].

In law the broader purpose of the term is that right implementation of law provides security to people from all types of crime, and uphold their social and fundamental rights.

2.2. Right use of law and protection from crime:

Thousands of years ago ancient Greek thinker Aristotle coined the significance of law by stating[7] that “law should govern”, and the higher authority who are accountable for the implementation of law should be “servants of the laws.” According to another famous Greek truth-seeker Plato, law should be primary source of guidance for a country. He wrote[8], “If law is the master of the government and the government is its slave, then the situation is full of promise and men enjoy all the blessings that the gods shower on a state.”

Therefore, Law is a formal and comprehensive code of conduct that shapes the economy, politics, culture and human rights in a country if it is enforced by an informed higher authority. The basic function of law is to protect the society from crime. A crime can be defined as any type of offense that goes against the civil society, for example, murder, theft, robbery, fraud, beating, copyright violation, contract violation and so on.

Crime is unavoidable in any society. The possible reasons behind committing a crime are being a victim, eyeing an opportunity to gain something and absence of a proper administrative authority. This is where law of the country comes to play its part by bringing the criminal under justice, convicting them under certain penal code depending on the nature of the crime and declare certain sentences for that particular sin.

It is systematically proved that human mind always gets influenced by its environment. All mental factors and actions of a human being are dynamically interconnected with social, economic, biological and psychological events occurrence around[9]. Hence, it is a trend of human mind and civilization to learn from past understanding. Therefore, when in a society people monitor a criminal being convicted and punished they learn about the adverse consequences of committing a crime, so that in future the rate of crime in that society decreases which is better for peace in the civilization.

An important thing to notice is, superior legal environment always allow the convicted person to get opportunity of self defense, so that no innocent person is punished. The goal of punishment to serve in prison is to turn the bad person into a good one. Inside the prison the authority helps the prisoners to learn moral values and principles. So after coming out of the prison, they experience a changed and positive mindset toward the society, and they no longer act as a threat to the civilization and country.

2.3. Protection of human rights through constitutional law

Constitution is a written document that describes the fundamental structure and procedures of a government in a given state. According to Scott Gordon, a constitution “contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority.”[10]

Violation of human rights is prevented by strict appliance of constitutional law. In Bangladesh, if any citizen faces any violation of his/her fundamental human rights they are permitted to seek help from the law according to the Bangladesh constitution. It ensures the protection of law, equal rights, prevention of forced labor, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and equal opportunity for public employment for every citizen of Bangladesh.[11]

Another important aspect that has been clarified in Bangladesh Constitution is government cannot make any law that goes against the fundamentals of the constitution i.e., no law can be made that violate human rights or the right order in society. It says, “Laws inconsistent with fundamental rights to be void”[12]

Therefore, a constitution which is the highest law of a country should give safeguard to its citizens from any crime and arbitrary use of power by the higher authority and should act as a grace of salvation for the citizens.

2.4. Maintaining Right Order in Society:

In a society, if there is no law to control how people behave or operate in their lives, then that would not be a civilized place to live in and anarchism and crime would increase quickly. If people knew they would not be punished for their actions then they would in turn, look for vengeance and the cycle would continue because they knew that they could get away with completely anything. Consequence could be very serious for the whole society.

Law enforcement authority can stop social crime very effectively. If police responds strongly against domestic violence and arrests known criminals then the probability of subsequent crimes in those areas diminishes.[13]

3.     Authority must use their power wisely

Only the existence of right law is not enough to uphold the right order in society. Apart from that the authority has to use those laws properly keeping the best interest for its subjects in minds. Equality before law and avoidance of arbitrary use of power can be two important areas where the authority must decide wisely on how to enforce the law.

3.1. Equality before law:

Equality before law means every citizen in a given area will be treated equally before the law and there will be no unfairness or privileges to any particular group or individual. Without this fundamental characteristic, any law can lose its efficiency significantly. If two different persons are treated two different ways just because of their social background then we could say it as a breach of equality before law and that would propel insecurity and violence in the society. Marxism[14] doubts that law represents the interest of the powerful within the society in modern world.International Bar Association combined the concept of equality of law with rule of law and said, “The Rule of Law is the foundation of a civilized society. It establishes a transparent process accessible and equal to all”.[15]

In some cases we see that even the constitution might have contradictory position about ensuring the equality before law. For example, Bangladesh Constitution is said to assurance the equality before to all its citizens.[16] But at the same time, it gives the parliament the authority to provide protection to any state officer, which might possibly sometimes breach the equality before law[17], because all citizens are not treated equally.

3.2. Avoidance of arbitrary use of power:

An authority or government or bureaucrats must not use their power arbitrarily. Sometimes certain laws allow them to practice some degree of arbitrary power over citizens, but if power is used unwisely, then it might become conflicting with the higher laws and constitution and promote inequality in the civil society.

For Example, In Bangladesh, section 54 of the Criminal Code gives the power to police to arrest an individual without the order from a magistrate and without warrant just on the basis on suspicion.[18] This is frequently used by Bangladesh Police force to collect information out of individuals after arresting them with arbitrary power. Dhaka Metropolitan Police often use another similar law which allows them to arrest any individual after dark whoever fails to provide any acceptable explanation.[19]

If these options are used randomly and on a regular basis without any knowledge of long-term impact, then it might pose a serious dissatisfaction among the public and cause insecurity in the legal environment. So government officials will have to decide wisely when and where to use them. Here again, the supreme power of constitution provides protection to the citizens if they fall victim to any governmental arbitration. Bangladesh constitution safeguards against arrest and detention. It says, “Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty four hours of such arrest, excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate, and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.”[20]

3.3. Absence of appropriate law acts as an obstacle to prevent crime:

In many cases, it is seen that a country does not always have suitable laws against all types of crime. Therefore, those crimes happen with very much ease. For example, software piracy is an internationally recognized crime, but in Bangladesh there is no appropriate law to prevent this. That’s why Bangladesh is at the top of software piracy in Asia Pacific[21] where software vendors lose 102 million US dollars every year[22] due to this crime, but no laws or government authority take any actions because of the absence of proper law.

4.     Conclusion:

Right use of law has its own strength for defending human right, resolving argument and establishing a peaceful society. It helps people to feel that there is always an invisible friendly hand who will act as a safeguard against the inequalities they face in their daily life. But the establishment of the right use of law is very much dependant on the superior authority of the state. If they fail to make the law equal to everyone, depressed citizen will then feel that law of their state is a tyranny for them. A government should enforce those laws which will go with the public interest, not for authorities. Because they have to know that law has a wide range of implications in every layer of the society.

Therefore, the right use of law will protect the society from any kind of crime, disorder, inequality and it will defense everyone to get their proper judgment. The authority of the state has the power to create a new constitution, a new law. But that doesn’t mean that they can do as they wish. All are equal in law. Everyone has to be stood in front of law if any unlawful thing happens. So not only the public but also the government, the supreme authority must have to obey the law and have to make the proper use of law to protect the civilization from any hazards.


1.      Amos, Sheldon (1885) “Legal Definition of Law”,

2.      Dicey, Albert (1915) “Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution”, Eighth Edition, Macmillan

3.      Frankel, Richard; Quill, Timothy; McDaniel, Susan (2003 ) “The Biopsychosocial Approach: Past, Present, Future” Boydell & Brewer,

4.      Gordon, Scott (1994) “Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens to Today” Harvard University Press.

5.      Sherman, Lawrence; Farrington, David; Welsh, Brandon; MacKenzie, Doris (2002) Evidence Based Crime Prevention, New York: Routledge,

6.      Tamanaha, Brian Z (2010) “Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging”, , Princeton University Press

7.      Cooper, John (1997) “Complete Works By Plato”, Hackett Publishing,

8.      Aristotle, “Politics”,

9.      Black’s Law Dictionary

10.  Code of Criminal Procedure, Bangladesh

11.  Constitution of Bangladesh

12.  Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance

[1]Anarchism is the political belief that society should have no government, laws, police, or other authority, but should be a free association of all its members”- William Godwin. He believed that “euthanasia of government” would be achieved through “individual moral reformation”. “Anarchism”;; Accessed: November 25, 2010

[2] “Legal Definition of Law”;; Accessed: November 25, 2010

[3] Amos, Sheldon; “The Science of Law”, 1885, “Legal Definition of Law”,, Accessed: November 25, 2010

[4] Meaning: redemption: (theology) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil; Wordnet, Princeton University, USA;, Accessed: November 25, 2010

[5] Wordnet, Princeton University, USA;, Accessed: November 26, 2010

[6] Luke 5:32, Acts 2:38; 3:19

[7] Aristotle, “Politics”, 3.16

[8] Cooper, John; “Complete Works By Plato”, page 1402 (Hackett Publishing, 1997)

[9] Frankel, Richard; Quill, Timothy; McDaniel, Susan; “The Biopsychosocial Approach: Past, Present, Future”; Boydell & Brewer (2003)

[10] Gordon, Scott; “Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens to Today”; Harvard University Press. Page: 4; (1994).

[11] Bangladesh Constitution, Part 3, “Fundamental Rights”, Article 27-32.

[12] Bangladesh Constitution, Part 3, “Fundamental Rights”, Article 26.

[13] Sherman, Lawrence; Farrington, David; Welsh, Brandon; MacKenzie, Doris; 2002, Evidence Based Crime Prevention, New York: Routledge

[14]Marxism is an economic and social system based upon the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels”; Prychitko, David L.; “Marxism”; Library of Economics and Liberty,; Accessed: November 27, 2010

[15] Resolution of the Council of the International Bar Association of October 8, 2009, on the Commentary on Rule of Law Resolution (2005)

[16] Bangladesh Constitution, Part 3, “Fundamental Rights”, Article 27

[17] Bangladesh Constitution, Part 3, “Fundamental Right”, Article 46

[18] Section 54, Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, Bangladesh

[19] Section 86, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance, Bangladesh

[20] Bangladesh Constitution, Part 3, “Fundamental Rights”, Article 33

[21] “Bangladesh tops software piracy in Asia Pacific”, AFP- Singapore, Article by The Daily Star Published on 2009-05-15,, Accessed: November 30, 2010

[22] “2008 Software Piracy losses by Country”; Statistics and Data on Illicit Market;; Accessed: November 30, 2010



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