Rule of Law
"The law which rules - is the law according to the rulings of the courts, but it is applied in the offices and chambers of the legal profession. It is applied in drafting and advising; in consultations more than litigation."
- The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC, “Role of the Legal Profession in the Rule of Law”, Supreme Court, Brisbane, 31 August 2007.
One of the Law Council's key objectives is to maintain and promote the rule of law through the analysis of federal legislation and federal executive action based on its compliance with the "Rule of Law Principles".
These key principles include:
The law must be both readily known and available, and certain and clear;
The law should be applied to all people equally and should not discriminate between people on arbitrary or irrational grounds;
All people are entitled to the presumption of innocence and to a fair and public trial;
Everyone should have access to competent and independent legal advice;
The Judiciary should be independent of the Executive and Legislature;
The Executive should be subject to the law and any action undertaken by the Executive should be authorised by law;
No person should be subject to treatment or punishment which is inconsistent with respect for the inherent dignity of every human being; and
States must comply with their international legal obligations whether created by treaty or arising under customary international law.
The Law Council's work involves providing assistance to neighbouring countries to safeguard equality before the law by advocating for measures that maintain and improve access to justice and legal prepresentation.
Through direct contact with international organisations such as LAWASIA , International Bar Association and the South Pacific Lawyers' Association , the Law Council actively promotes and defends the rule of law.
More information about these principles are embodied in the Law Council's Policy Statement on the Rule of Law.