Limitations To The Rule Of Law

Although many governments claim to be practising democracy and maintaining the principles of the rule of law, such nations still do not practiced. Some factors make the real practice of the rule of law difficult. Some of them are:

1. Illiteracy

Uneducated people are often ignorant of the constitution, and are therefore, ignorant of their rights. Their immediate problem is how to survive and not how to pursue their rights.

2. The Existence Of Tribunals

These are not regular or ordinary courts of the land, as stated by the principles of rule of law, yet they don not punish offenders. Election tribunals are set up to try cases of electoral fraud after elections.

3. Emergency

People’s movement could be restricted during emergency situations like war, curfew, natural disasters, civil disturbances, etc, and people, who suffer from infectious diseases are confined to quarantines until they are cured.

4. Criminals

They are kept in prison until they have served their prison terms; and it is believed that they would have been rehabilitated before regaining their freedom.

5. Diplomats

These people do not face the ordinary courts of the land. An offence by such an officer is referred to his home country and the highest penalty for such a diplomat could be repatriation or a recall to his home country.

6. Poverty

Poor people cannot fight for their rights even when they know that their rights are infringed upon. Their highest hope is in God to whom they pray fervently for redress.

7. Public Office Holders

Public office holders like the president of Nigeria and the governors cannot be tried in the court, until their terms as public officers are over.

Any case against them is usually brought up in court when they have left office. This is called ‘immunity clause’. It tends to be a limitation to the rule of law.

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