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The phrase rule of law describes a legal system in which universally applicable laws are established publicly according to regularly established procedures. The rule of law in the Anglo-American common law tradition is based on the principles of constitutionality, equality before the law, and separation of powers. A system based on the rule of law is designed to prevent the arbitrary exercise of political power either for the personal benefit of the rulers or to the personal detriment of the rulers' opponents. In the Western tradition, the concept of a rule of law began with the Romans. In contrast to the Greek democracies, where the majority could rewrite the law to suit its whims, the Romans placed limits on the power of their government to ...

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