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The Rule of Law is of course a very capacious concept, which means many different things to its different promoters. Anyone who sets out to investigate its content will soon find himself in a snowstorm of competing definitions. Its barebones content ("formal legality") is that of a regime of rules, announced in advance, which are predictably and effectively applied to all they address, including the rulers who promulgate them - formal rules that tell people how the state will deploy coercive force and enable them to plan their affairs accordingly. The slightly-more-than barebones version adds: "applied equally to everyone."

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