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Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science$
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Mirko Canevaro, Andrew Erskine, Benjamin Gray, and Josiah Ober

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421775

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

Ancient and Modern Conceptions of the Rule of Law

Ancient and Modern Conceptions of the Rule of Law

(p.184) 6 Ancient and Modern Conceptions of the Rule of Law
Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science

Sara Forsdyke

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides a definition of the contested concept of the rule of law and suggests that it consists of three components: legal supremacy, legal equality and legal certainty. The chapter further argues that the classical Athenian legal system valued all three components of this definition of the rule of law, but also sought to balance the good of legal certainty against a more context specific assessment of equity in particular cases. In making this compromise, the chapter suggests, the Athenians anticipated a tension that continues to exist even in modern legal systems.

Keywords:   Rule of Law, Athenian democracy, Equity, Popular justice

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