17 June 2011

WJP Rule of Law Index 2011 Report

The World Justice Project (WJP) has just released its 2011 Rule of Law Index report. The project covers 66 countries, grouped within seven regions: Western Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. According tot he Report, adherence to the rule of law varies widely around the world and appears to be positively correlated with per capita income.

As used by the World Justice Project, the rule of law refers to a rules-based system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

  • The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.
  • The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  • The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
  • Access to justice is provided by competent, independent, and ethical adjudicators, attorneys or representatives, and judicial officers who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

The Index is based on data reflecting on the following nine dimensions (and 52 sub-dimensions) of the rule of law:
  • Limited government powers
  • Absence of corruption
  • Order and security
  • Fundamental rights
  • Open government
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Access to civil justice
  • Effective criminal justice
  • Informal justice
Advancing the rule of law around the world is the central goal of the World Justice Project (WJP). Establishing the rule of law is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity and equity—communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Without the rule of law, medicines do not reach health facilities due to corruption; women in rural areas remain unaware of their rights; people are killed in criminal violence; and firms’ costs increase because of expropriation risk. The rule of law is the cornerstone to improving public health, safeguarding participation, ensuring security, and fighting poverty.

You can read the full report HERE.