It's currently a hot topic: "The rule of law". Many politicians and media commentators maintain that in view of current developments in such European states as Poland, Hungary, France or Turkey the rule of law is threatened and both it and democracy itself are being undermined.
But what exactly does "the rule of law/the constitutional state" mean, and what is the relationship between democracy and rule of law? Is it possible to develop an abstract set of questions (not specific to any particular state but nonetheless practically applicable) on the basis of which -depending on the answers- it would be possible to assert that the rule of law, and thus also democracy itself, are endangered?
This paper seeks to shed light on these questions through a sequence of theses, arguments and core assumptions from which can be derived a series of questions which will allow the status of the rule of law in individual countries to be examined and evaluated.
The following theses and arguments are based on the academic paper "Democracy and the Rule of Law - Two Sides of a Coin?" (in German) ...