Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Senior Secondary School 1

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Term: 2nd Term

Week: 3

Class: Senior Secondary School 1

Age: 15 years

Duration: 40 minutes of 2 periods each


Subject:      Civic Education

Topic:-       Rule of law and its principles

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES: At the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to

  1. Explain the meaning of rule of law
  2. Highlight the principles of the rule of law

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNIQUES: Identification, explanation, questions and answers, demonstration, videos from source

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS: Videos, loud speaker, textbook, pictures








The teacher reviews the previous lesson on democracy

Students pay attention



She defines the rule of law 


Students pay attention and participates



She highlights the principles of the rule of law 

Students pay attention and participate



The teacher writes a summarized note on the board

The students copy the note in their books




Rule of Law is the absolute supremacy or predominance of the law over

everybody – both rulers and the ruled and all decisions taken in a country.

According to professor A.V. Dicey (a Briton), a professor of English law

who developed and popularize the phrase “Rule of Law” in his book titled

“Introduction to the Law of the Constitution” published in 1885, “those

entrusted with the administration of a country should rule or exercise their

authority in accordance with the established law of the land and such

established law should be regarded as supreme”. The phrase has other

phrases like “that no citizen can be punished except as prescribed by the

law; which means that no one can be punished without trial. That the law

must be known to all citizens.


The major aim of the rule of law is to ensure that government rule in

accordance with the laws of the land.


The Main Principles and Features of the Rule of Law

  1. Supremacy of the law: It means that the law of a state is supreme or higher than anybody in the state. A citizen is deemed innocent until proved guilty by the law court. Anybody who is arbitrarily arrested and detained for more than twenty four hours can apply to the law court for a writ of habeas corpus.
  2. Equality before the Law: It means that nobody is above the law. The law is no respecter of persons irrespective of the position. In Dicey’s views, all men are equal before the laws of the land. All citizens of a country should enjoy equal access to law facilities, equal right to fair hearing, legal advice in the court of law. This principle assumes the notion of legality, which means due process of law in dealing with offenders.
  3. The Rights of the individual: This principle states that citizens of a country should enjoy certain basic inalienable rights and liberties under the law, violation of which they have the right to seek redress in a law court which has the exclusive jurisdiction to handle such cases according to the constitution. The UN 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Right is a good basis on which the protection of citizens’ rights is hinged.

Other Principles and Features of the Rule of Law

  1. Absolute supremacy or dominance of law over everybody in the land (supremacy of the law)
  2. Access to legal facilities.
  3. Provision of the constitution.
  4. Fair hearing.
  5. The law should be made public.
  6. Right to appeal.
  7. Backdating of laws.
  8. There should be no government censorship or influence of the press.
  9. Punishment must agree with offence committed


EVALUATION:    1. Explain the meaning of rule of law

  1. What is the aim of the rule of law?
  2. Highlight the principles of the rule of law

CLASSWORK: As in evaluation

CONCLUSION: The teacher commends the students positively