These four universal principles constitute a working definition of the rule of law. They were developed in accordance with internationally accepted standards and norms, and were tested and refined in consultation with a wide variety of experts worldwide.

WJP Rule of Law Index

The four universal principles are further developed in the following nine factors of the annual WJP Rule of Law IndexThe latest edition of the Index relies on more than 130,000 household and 4,000 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived by the general public worldwide. Our data provides current and reliable information to policy makers, civil society organizations, academics, citizens, businesses, and legal professionals, among others. It is intended to encourage policy reforms, guide program development, and inform research to strengthen the rule of law.

Index findings have been cited by heads of state, chief justices, business leaders, and public officials, including media coverage in more than 190 countries worldwide.

WJP Rule of Law Index Interactive Data

How the Rule of Law Matters

No matter who we are or where we live, the rule of law affects us all. Research shows that rule of law correlates to higher economic growth, greater peace, less inequality, improved health outcomes, and more education.


Rule of Law and Economic Growth



Rule of Law and Education



Rule of Law and Peace


Additional Rule of Law Information and Resources 

Key WJP reports, edited volumes, journal articles, seminar & conference presentations, and working papers.

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Our home for the latest news and information on WJP's strategic convenings.

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