The Rule of Law is often seen as the foundation of democracy and nation-building. The Barro 2000 report argues that new states must first create Rule of Law institutions before establishing democratic institutions. This is important to ensure that property rights are protected and contracts enforced, and that people have confidence in the government and in the country. Rule of Law institutions should be proactive and accessible to the public, not reactive and opaque.
Legal issues can arise for a number of reasons. They can involve family matters, issues at work, or even being accused of a crime. Some of the more common types of legal concerns are immigration, consumer rights, and debt and money issues. Information on these issues can be obtained from government websites. The websites of the courts and the criminal justice system offer a wealth of information.
In the United States, there is a wide range of laws that regulate the operation of various businesses and industries. Competition law, or antitrust law, can trace its roots to ancient Roman decrees against price fixing and the English restraint of trade doctrine. In the United States, antitrust laws have developed to regulate businesses that distort market prices. Banking law, for example, governs minimum capital requirements for banks and other financial institutions.
In modern society, the rule of law is an important part of people’s access to justice. Common law legal systems explicitly acknowledge decisions of the executive branch and courts as “law,” and they are governed by a doctrine of precedent, which means that decisions made by the same court will be binding on lower courts and on future decisions of the same court. Civil law systems, on the other hand, are governed by legislative statutes and judicial decisions.