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About the Bingham Centre

Named after Tom Bingham (The Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG) who promoted the maintenance, development and promotion of the rule of law, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law seeks to:

  • Provide an intellectual framework to define and implement the rule of law as a universal and practical concept;
  • Highlight threats to the rule of law;
  • Produce high quality studies and training on rule of law issues, drawing on comparative examples and seeking practical outcomes;
  • support capacity building and promotes a wider appreciation of the rule of law among governments, decision makers and the wider public, and
  • Demonstrate how the rule of law upholds respect for human dignity and enhances economic development and political stability.

You can read a brief history of the creation of the Bingham Centre here.

The Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG

Lord Bingham was the preeminent judge of his generation and a passionate advocate of the rule of law. Tom Bingham held office successively as Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Senior Law Lord of the United Kingdom, the only person ever to hold all three offices. He became a life peer, as baron Bingham of Cornhill in the County of Powys, on becoming Lord Chief Justice in 1996. In 2005 he was appointed a Knight of the Garter, the first professional judge to be so honoured. He was President of the British Institute for International and Comparative Law from 2008 until his death in September 2010.

Lord Bingham's Eight Principles of the Rule of Law

1. The law must be accessible and so far as possible, intelligible, clear & predictable

2. Questions of legal right and liability should ordinarily be resolved by application of the law and not the exercise of discretion

3. The laws of the land should apply equally to all, save to the extent that objective differences justify differentiation

4. Ministers and public officers at all levels must exercise the powers conferred on them in good faith, fairly, for the purpose for which the powers were conferred, without exceeding the limits of such powers and not unreasonably

5. The law must afford adequate protection of fundamental human rights

6. Means must be provided for resolving without prohibitive cost or inordinate delay, bona fide civil disputes which the parties themselves are unable to resolve

7. Adjudicative procedures provided by the state should be fair

8. The rule of law requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international law as in national law