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What is Legal Certainty?

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Legal certainty is the principle that a legal system be predictable and transparent. It is considered a protection that guarantees that the law will not be used in an arbitrary way. Legal certainty is considered important to the rule of law as citizens who perceive the law as fair and comprehensible may be more likely to follow it. Absence of legal certainty is characteristic of a legal system that has become a tool of a political elite or that has simply fallen into decay to the point that there is a wide difference in decisions from one district or judge to the next.
Overview: Law
Legal Principle
The principle that a legal system be predictable and transparent.
Legal proceedings that are a matter of public record.
The right to appeal rulings.
Laws that are written to be comprehensible to the public.
Systems of checks and balances that prevent individual judges from pursuing a personal agenda.
Oversight of judges and ability to remove judges.
Protection of the judiciary from political manipulation.
New laws that may not be applied retroactivity.
Protection of rights and legitimate interests.
A society with an unpredictable and opaque legal system may suffer from high crime and low quality of life. It may also have chilling effects on the economy and political process including freedom of speech.
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