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The rule of law is not the rule of legalism or blind positivism. It cannot mean submission to any legal regime or tyrannical law – ISIS legality, Taliban legality, Hitler legality, Stalin legality, Pinochet legality, Pol Pot legality, “the laws of the market.”  The rule of law is the normative framework that protects and enables fulfillment of human rights; it means the rule of justice, equity, natural law and ethics. It aims to uphold universal principles of law and address abuses of the legal system by individuals or regimes.  Positivism can and often does lead to great injustices as Cicero already noted in De Officis I, 10 33, summum jus, summa injuria (excessive legalism is the height of injustice).  Indeed, the letter of the law alone is not identical with justice, especially because the letter of the law can and often is instrumentalized for other agendas andu used to subvert the spirit of the law.  It is the spirit of the law (Montesquieu) that must permeate the administration of justice in order to promote transparency and individual accountability.  

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