State theory, criminal justice decision making and the rule of law project

Traditional accounts of the rule of law do not normally question their theoretical conceptions of the state. As the concept itself deals with the idea of equal normative constraint of all members of a polis, it assumes a vision of the state that makes it partially identical to the formal law itself in both its generality and impersonality.
The paper seeks to question the performance of such an assumption by looking at the area of the state that is most sensitive to rule of law demands, namely criminal justice. Modern states show a level of bureaucratic fragmentation that challenges not only the reality but the utility of the impersonal and central image of the state. More importantly, fragmented and selective as it is, modern criminal justice can be hardly linked with the image of the impersonal state.
The paper will show how a revision of the state theoretical assumptions may hold much value for the development of the idea of the rule of law.