In Latin, resilio means “spring back”, “rebound”, “retreat”. In the context of the rule of law, our project aims at identifying factors that contribute to the resilience of the rule of law: making it more robust towards hazardous events and incremental threats.
Under the rule of law, all public powers always act within the constraints set out by law, in accordance with the values of democracy and fundamental rights, and under the control of independent and impartial courts. Core elements of the rule of law include the principles of legality, legal certainty, effective judicial protection by independent and impartial courts, respect for fundamental rights and equality before the law.
Resilience of the rule of law means that the rule of law can experience hazardous events or incremental threats without losing its core function, structure, and purpose as well as effectively defend itself against attempted assaults. Sources of resilience lie not only in constitutional texts and institutions, but can also be facilitated by social, political, cultural, and economic circumstances.
The resilience of the rule of law depends on a diversity of factors. They refer to both the institutional architecture of the rule of law as well as the environment in which it is functioning. Therefore, RESILIO offers a multi-layered model of rule of law resilience, reflecting upon the resilience of the legal and institutional setup per se (systemic dimension), looking at the phenomena and tendencies present in societies as possible facilitators (subsidiary dimension), and analysing the broader habitat (contextual dimension).
Systemic dimension: lies at the core and entails the rules and norms implemented to safeguard the proper functioning of the legal and political order. Systemic resilience factors are:
Subsidiary dimension: is mainly concerned with how the rule of law is recognized and realized in society. Subsidiary resilience factors are:
Contextual dimension: has facilitating effects on social peace and in turn, averts popular support for anti-democratic actors interested in dismantling the rule of law. Contextual resilience factors are:
Resilience of public discourse
Last but not least, RESILIO also takes into account the horizontal effects of unpredicted and unprecedented crises as well as their (political) instrumentalization that can affect all dimensions of rule of law resilience with different intensity.
While each factor is necessary for a resilient rule of law, they are only sufficient in combination.