Policy paper

DFID policy approach to Rule of Law

This paper examines how the Department for International Development can build on its strengths and adopt a more coherent and ambitious approach to the rule of law.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



The rule of law is the underlying framework that underpins open and fair societies and economies, where citizens, businesses and civil society can prosper. The rule of law advances 5 main ends:

  • public authority is bound by and accountable before preexisting
  • clear, and known laws
  • citizens are treated equally before the law
  • human rights are protected
  • citizens can access efficient and predictable dispute resolution mechanisms and law and order are prevalent

The rule of law is inherently political. It is not just about the law; it is about the ‘rules’, the institutions that determine who has access to power, rights and resources.

Published 25 April 2014