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Access to Justice and the Rule of Law

Lucy, W

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This article examines the often-affirmed link between access to justice (AtoJ) and the rule of law. Section 2 offers an account of what we mean by AtoJ, arguing that the most plausible account of that idea has three components. Section 3 examines the rule of law. The article distinguishes between the concept and conceptions of the rule of law and argues that there is a plausible and widely shared concept of the rule of law. It shows that, on that core sense of the rule of law, there are connections, some more direct than others, between the rule of law and AtoJ. Section 4 argues that other alleged connections between the rule of law and AtoJ are not made out. The article shows that we should be circumspect about the assumed link between AtoJ and the rule of law, since it is almost always too glibly and quickly asserted.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 16, 2020
Online Publication Date May 8, 2020
Publication Date Jul 31, 2020
Deposit Date May 6, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2022
Journal Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
Print ISSN 0143-6503
Electronic ISSN 1464-3820
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 2
Pages 377-402
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (362 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Oxford journal of legal studies following peer review. The version of record Lucy, W (2020). Access to Justice and the Rule of Law. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 40(2): 377-402 is available online at:

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