The Rule of Law: Anglo-American versus Continental Conceptions in Theory and Practice


This conference explored the concept of the rule of law, focusing particularly on distinctions between how this idea is understood and protected in the Anglo-American and Continental legal traditions.


From Liberty Fund

On History and Other Essays

by By Michael Oakeshott
Foreword by Timothy Fuller

In five essays, including three on historiography, one of the greatest minds in English political thought in the twentieth century explores themes central to the human experience: the nature of history, the rule of law, and the quest for power that is intrinsic to the human condition. Michael Oakeshott believed,…

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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (vol. 2)

by By Adam Smith
Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner
William B. Todd, Textual Editor

First published in 1776, the year in which the American Revolution officially began, Smith’s Wealth of Nations sparked a revolution of its own. In it Smith analyzes the major elements of political economy, from market pricing and the division of labor to monetary, tax, trade, and other government policies that…

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Additional Readings

Bastiat, Frédéric. The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat, Volume 2: "The Law," "The State," and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2012.

Dicey, A. V. Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution [1885; 8th edition, 914]. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.

Gosalbo-Bono, Ricardo. “The Significance of the Rule of Law and Its Implications for the European Union and the United States.” University Of Pittsburgh Law Review 72, no. 2 (Winter 2010): 231-290.

Hayek, F. A. The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Hayek, Friedrich A. The Political Ideal of the Rule of Law. Cairo: National Bank of Egypt, 1955.

Merryman, John Henry. The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Western Europe and Latin America (2nd edition). Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007.