The term "rule of law" has been invoked increasingly in recent years as governments and civil society grapple with challenges facing their relationship.
This includes access to justice, democracy and good governance. It is seen as a guarantee against arbitrary use of power, premised on certainty of the law and protection of the rights of individuals and communities. This is reflected in various notable developments in Southeast Asia.
For instance, the notion of "rule of law" takes pride of place in the Thai constitution. Myanmar has established, in its parliament, a rule of law committee. The charter of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) also cites it as a lynchpin for a rules-based organisation.