The Elusive Virtue of Congruence

Congruence is the requirement that the law should be applied in accordance with its stated content. Congruence is essential to the rule of law. Yet assessing whether any given legal order exhibits this virtud is an extremely difficult task.
A particular legal decision is congruent if it is a correct application of the law to facts that have been correctly determined. Moreover, the scale of error matters; the larger the proportion of erroneous decisions in a given society, the less the society it is governed by law.
Thus, in order to assess whether a particular decision is congruent, an observer needs to have a better understanding of the facts and the law than whoever made the decision; and to assess whether the legal order exhibits the virtue of congruence, the observer needs to have an enormous amount of information about it.
The paper will conclude with some reflections on the relevance of the elusiveness of congruence for the function that the rule of law is supposed to serve.