Development Advocate Pakistan: Volume 4, Issue 3
Apr 16, 2018
The rule of law is the defining relation between society and the state. It is the ultimate condition in which citizens and the state are held accountable to a set of laws that are, as Kofi Annan, the Secretary- General of the United Nations wrote in 2004, “publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards.”
The rule of law requires, in Mr Annan's words, “measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency.” We understand this today as the fundamental architecture of a just society.
Effective rule of law creates an environment in which a country can promote development, protect its citizens from discrimination, and ensure equitable access to justice for all. This means that all citizens have the opportunity to live in peace without fear, with effective recourse in law when their rights are abrogated, and an equal chance to flourish and build a prosperous life.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development envisions a world where all people live free of violence and fear, where hunger and poverty are eliminated, and where the planet is protected for future generations. This global transformation is predicated on the understanding that human rights, peace and security, and development are deeply interlinked and mutually reinforcing. Pakistan is a signatory to this global commitment to transform the world by achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).