Law and the Rule of Law

This Law and the Rule of Law interactive also includes:

We hear a lot about the importance of the rule of law, but most people do not really know what those words mean. The lesson is a webpage that defines the rule of law, explains why it is important in a democratic society and provides practical examples of its use in the American legal system. Informational and interesting, the page relates the concept of the rule of law to the system of constitutional law in the United States. The lesson teaches some basic concepts that are foundational to criminology and political science.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Assign as a pre-learning activity before a classroom lecture or presentation
  • Pose questions from the More About Laws section as classroom discussion topics
Classroom Considerations
  • The webpage is part of a series of five lessons on the role of the Federal courts, the federal judiciary, and the US Constitution; teachers may use the lesson separately or in combination with other pages
  • The reading level is more suitable for high school age than lower levels without guidance from the teacher
  • The highlighted key terms, including law, statutory law, common law, and stare decisis, link to a glossary with definitions  
  • The lesson mostly avoids technical language and focuses on the practical importance of the rule of law
  • The font size is small and navigation can be confusing