Informations and abstract
Keywords: Rule of Law; Non-Arbitrariness; Institutional Ideal; Power; Social Dimensions.
Palombella has offered us not merely a strong case for one distinctive conception of the rule of law, but also a sustained demonstration of how to think well about these matters. The substance of his account is this article's main subject, but his methodological example could usefully be emulated even by those who might draw different substantive conclusions from such consideration. The article starts with substance (§ 1), his "institutional idea concerning the law" and moves to his method (§ 2), one that combines attention to the philosophical underpinnings of the rule of law, its specific historical origins, and possibilities for its elaboration and application in contexts quite different from those where it originated. It then asks three questions: one about the status of non-arbitrariness in Palombella's conception (§ 3), a second about the point or telos of the rule of law (§ 4), and a third about its social dimensions (§ 5).