You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone: The Rule of Law in Canada - Part I


  • Jack Watson



The expression “rule of law” is multifaceted and entails a complex network of concepts. Although the expression is used frequently, its intended meaning is often connected to the context in which it is invoked. As the rule of law is so often used in a contextual manner, its conceptual underpinnings are often only partially understood and appreciated. The author examines the historicity of the rule of law and analyzes the concepts contained within the expression in order to give an explanation of their meaning, importance, and implications. A theme persisting throughout the article is that of the threats to the rule of law, both in general and in our Canadian context. An importance of the article is that the author, having provided the reader with an account of the rule of law, also provides the reader with the ability to appreciate, discern, and be vigilant against the threats to the rule of law. This article is Part I of a two-part series.