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Giacinto della Cananea
On Law And Politics In The Eu: The Rule Of Law Conditionality
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Rule of law, separation of powers and the courts Not surprisingly, there are various opinions about what the rule of law means and implies. Long-standing debate has emphasised either the procedural or the substantive aspects of the question. In a similar vein, a distinction has been made between formal and substantive theories of the rule of law. The formal theories argue that laws are not required to have any particular kind of content but should simply constrain the exercise of power, while the latter emphasises the necessity of ‘good laws’, also protecting at least certain individual rights1. Although this is an important distinction, it must be observed that both theories reject the assertion that constraining political institutions and simultaneously protecting rights in courts is inherently undemocratic.

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