The apparent simplicity of the idea of due process, with its ‘precise technical import’,1 conceals a much-contested reality. Although the phrase conveys a powerful ideological message of commitment to the rule of law, its exact meaning tends to disintegrate under cross-examination. For example, can a mere procedure—any procedure—be protective of human rights in all contexts? And where is the unexplained theory of procedure which lies behind the assertion that certain forms may be considered ‘due’ and others not? To many, the phrase ‘due process’ carries with it...
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