rule of law
(law) Equal protection and equal punishment under the law for all individual in a society. Equal protection includes protection of human rights as well as property and other rights. The concept is that the rule of law reigns over government, protecting citizens against arbitrary state action, and over society generally, governing relations among private interests. It ensures that all citizens are treated equally and are subject to the law rather than the whims of the powerful. The rule of law is an essential precondition for accountability and predictability in both the public and private sector.