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 below factors of the annual World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®, the world's leading source for original, independent data on the rule of law. The latest edition of the Index relies on surveys of more than 130,000 households and 4,000 legal practitioners and experts to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide. Our data provides current and reliable information to policy makers, civil society organizations, academics, citizens, businesses, and legal professionals, among others. 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. It is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace—underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Research shows that rule of law correlates to higher economic growth, greater peace, less inequality, improved health outcomes, and more education.


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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