World Justice Project

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The World Justice Project
World Justice Project small logo - new.jpg
Type 501(c)(3) (Non-Profit)
Founded 2006
Founder(s) William H. Neukom
Headquarters
  • Washington, D.C., and Seattle, WA, USA
Key people
Area served Worldwide
Mission To lead a global movement to strengthen the rule of law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity
Website World Justice Project
Rule of Law Index

The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world. The rule of law provides the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity – communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.

The WJP's work engages citizens and leaders across the globe and from all work disciplines to advance the rule of law. Through our three complementary and mutually reinforcing programs of Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement, WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate government reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.

Founded by William H. Neukom in 2006 as a presidential initiative of the American Bar Association, and with the initial support of 21 partners,[1] the World Justice Project transitioned into an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2009. Its offices are located in Washington, D.C., and Seattle, WA, USA.[2]

WJP definition of rule of law[edit]

The rule of law is a system of rules and rights that enables fair and functioning societies. The World Justice Project defines this system as one in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

  1. The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.
  2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, efficient, and fair.
  4. Justice is delivered by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.[3]

Research and scholarship[edit]

The World Justice Project supports rigorous research that examines the contributions of the rule of law to various aspects of economic, political, and social development and sheds new light on how to strengthen the rule of law. The scholarship program is currently pursuing an ambitious research agenda studying the effectiveness of the rule of law in various domains of social life, the inter-dependencies among the institutional components of the rule of law, and the causal mechanisms by which the rule of law affects economic and political life.[4]

WJP Rule of Law Index[edit]

The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index is an quantitative assessment tool designed to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice. The Index provides new data on eight dimensions of the rule of law: limited government powers; absence of corruption; order and security; fundamental rights; open government; regulatory enforcement; civil justice; and criminal justice. These factors are further disaggregated into 52 sub-factors. Together, they provide a comprehensive picture of rule of law compliance.[5]

The Index rankings and scores are built from over 400 variables drawn from two new data sources: (i) a general population poll (GPP), designed by the WJP and conducted by leading local polling companies using a probability sample of 1,000 respondents in the three largest cities of each country; and (ii) a qualified respondents’ questionnaire (QRQ) completed by in-country experts in civil and commercial law, criminal law, labor law, and public health. To date, over 97,000 people and 2,500 experts have been interviewed in 99 countries and jurisdictions.[6] Adherence to the rule of law is assessed using 47 indicators organized around eight themes: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice. In addition to country scores and rankings, the Index also includes key global findings as well as an analysis of regional strengths, rule of law challenges, best and worst performers, and trends to watch.[7]

WJP Rule of Law Index 2014[edit]

The World Justice Project's most recent Index offers a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which 99 countries and jurisdictions around the world adhere to the rule of law. The WJP Rule of Law Index 2014 report is available for download on the WJP website.

Engagement[edit]

In the few years since its founding in 2006, the WJP has helped give people in countries across the world greater understanding of the rule of law and with it, greater opportunities in nearly every part of their lives – from education, to health care, to property rights to fair and peaceful resolution of disputes. The WJP’s Engagement initiatives strive to make rule of law advancement as fundamental to the thinking and work of other professionals as it is to lawyers and judges.

World Justice Challenge[edit]

The World Justice Challenge is an open competition designed to incubate practical, on-the-ground programs that advance the rule of law.[8] Selected programs will be supported by:

  • Modest seed grants—the typical size of a seed grant is $15,000 to $25,000
  • Connections to others in the WJP’s global network
  • Increased visibility through media and communications support

World Justice Forum[edit]

The World Justice Forum is the world’s largest global multidisciplinary platform dedicated to advancing the rule of law. It is a global gathering at which prominent leaders from all parts of the world and a variety of disciplines come together to articulate how the rule of law affects their disciplines and regions and to develop collaborative actions to strengthen the rule of law.[9]

Since 2007, the WJP has held three World Justice Forums. The inaugural World Justice Forum was held in Vienna, Austria, on July 2–5, 2008. The World Justice Forum II took place on November 11–14, 2009, also in Vienna, Austria. The World Justice Forum III was held on June 20–23, 2011, in Barcelona, Spain. The World Justice Forum IV took place on July 8–11, 2013, in The Hague, Netherlands.[9]

Country-level workshops[edit]

The World Justice Project convened a small taskforce of Tunisian leaders from business, government and civil society in Tunis, Tunisia, on May 28, 2012, to assess rule of law opportunities and challenges facing Tunisia during the ongoing reform process. The WJP worked closely with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the Arab Center for the Rule of Law and Integrity (ACRLI), and the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL) in the planning and execution of the Tunisia workshop. It produced a detailed report on the rule of law situation in Tunisia based on data from its Rule of Law Index.[10] The WJP is also considering organizing additional workshops in the future for countries undergoing transition.[9]

U.S. multidisciplinary workshops[edit]

The WJP supports multidisciplinary workshops aimed at strengthening the rule of law in the United States. In individual states across the nation, state and local bar associations, law schools and other local leaders are sponsoring state-level multidisciplinary outreach meetings to form multidisciplinary partnerships to strengthen the rule of law at the state and community levels. Participants at these meetings have included business and community leaders, educators, health care professionals, judges, lawyers, government officials, and religious leaders.[9]

Leadership[edit]

Honorary Chairs[edit]

The World Justice Project has the support of individuals representing a range of disciplines around the world. The Honorary Chairs of the World Justice Project are:

Board of Directors[edit]

The World Justice Project's Board of Directors includes:

The World Justice Project has the following Board Officers:

  • William C. Hubbard, Chairman of the Board
  • William H. Neukom, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Deborah Enix-Ross, Vice President
  • Suzanne E. Gilbert, Vice President
  • James R. Silkenat, Director and Vice President
  • Lawrence B. Bailey, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Gerold W. Libby, General Counsel

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Rule of Law Index[edit]

Publications[edit]

Edited Volumes:
Journal Articles: