The 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index recorded the fifth consecutive year of rule of law declines driven by stark authoritarian trends. News outlets in over 100 countries took note in more than 2,000 stories. 

When Hong Kong convicted two protesters of sedition, journalists pressed officials about Hong Kong’s fallen ranking in the new Index. When The New York Times wrote about threats to U.S. election integrity, it quoted WJP Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen on how rule of law trends have weakened democracy. Meanwhile, The Economist used Index data to contrast Russia with some of its reform-minded neighbors, and CNN en Español dug into Latin American findings. 

Officials from KosovoRwandaGeorgiathe United StatesPhilippinesUzbekistan, the European Parliament, and multinational corporations cited Index data as a critical benchmark in their work. 

Our experts have provided briefings to private sector leaders and officials of the European Union, OECD, Council of Europe; UNDP, and the governments of Hong Kong, DRC, Kazakhstan, Honduras, and Thailand (to name a few), all of which use the WJP Index data as a policy-making reference point. Public WJP events convened stakeholders in Brazilthe United States, and Asia Pacific for expert discussion of the Index data and their implications for reform efforts. 



Last year, a Netflix series that grew out of WJP research followed the nightmarish case of three men wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 50 years for attempted kidnapping. Just last week, the Mexican Supreme Court overturned the convictions and reinvigorated the presumption of innocence in Mexico’s criminal justice system. 



In Asia Pacific, the WJP is building partnerships to advance dialogue and action on the region’s most pressing rule of law issues. Drawing on our data, research, and extensive stakeholder consultation, WJP has identified three critical priorities in Asia Pacific:  

  • Defending judicial independence 

  • Safeguarding the free flow of information 

  • Strengthening access to justice for minorities. 

These issues were front and center at our December 8-9 Asia Pacific Justice Forum, which convened dozens of leaders from across the region and diverse sectors in Jakarta for two days of workshops, good practices presentations, and interactive panel discussions. The event assumed particular urgency in light of 2022 Index revelations that 71% of Asia Pacific countries are backsliding on rule of law. 




Ministers of justice from around the world, the United Nations Development Programme, and an international coalition of whistleblowers were among the many groups to advance major rule of law initiatives at the World Justice Forum 2022: Building More Just Communities (May 31-June 3). 

More than 1,200 attendees from 116 countries gathered in The Hague to collaborate and set the action agenda on the Forum’s three themes:  

  • Anti-corruption and open government 

  • Equal rights and non-discrimination 

  • Access to justice 

In the Forum’s final statement, WJP and its co-producing partners called upon leaders “to actively defend and advance universal principles of fair and accountable governance and fundamental rights” ahead of the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit. 



At the Forum, 40 World Justice Challenge finalists and honorable mentions presented their groundbreaking rule of law projects from around the world, benefited from a week of networking and learning, and competed for $100,000 in prizes

“The Justice Expo was not a showcase of proposals, suggestions, or hypotheses,” wrote finalist Patrice Sutton of DC Justice Lab. “It was an inventors’ forum: a spectacular display of evidence that dramatic change and global healing are achievable through innovation.”  

In 2023, we plan to keep building and expanding the Challenge network of visionary grassroots changemakers, who together can accelerate their impact globally. 



Since launching the fourth annual WJP Mexico States Rule of Law Index in the Mexican Senate in May, our experts have been traveling around the country to support state-level uptake and action on the findings. Presenting our data and analysis to high-level audiences including governors, state legislators, judges, and anti-corruption officials has paid off. 

Nineteen of Mexico’s 32 states are now using Index data to shape reforms and track progress, and we expect more to follow suit.  

Next year, WJP will build on our success and launch a new “Open Justice Metric” in collaboration with Mexico’s National Transparency Institute. Stay tuned to see how we evaluate the transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of federal and state-level justice institutions. 



To address the global justice gap of 5 billion people, WJP champions a data-driven focus on people and their needs, rather than institutions. 

In 2022, we gathered the growing people-centered justice movement at the World Justice Forum, and USAID cited WJP research when announcing its new people-centered approach to rule of law promotion. 

We sounded the alarm that global progress on civil and criminal justice has stagnated in a new SDG 16 Data Initiative report, and we called for a redoubling of efforts to meet the globally adopted goal of access to justice for all by 2030. 

As a member of the Ibero-American Alliance for Access to Justice, we’re assessing justice needs and data collection in the region to help countries shape new commitments to people-centered justice.  

And we’re leveraging our own country-level justice survey data, too, most recently holding focus groups with judicial experts and practicing attorneys in Paraguay. The learnings—including when people seek justice, how they perceive corruption in the justice system, and the traits they find the most helpful in an attorney—will help strengthen legal education and services in the country. 


After we produced five rule of law reports on Central American countries this year, U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro cited them in his call to address the root causes of migration. 

In 2023, we’ll return to those five countries to see what’s changed, and we’ll analyze our new polling throughout Latin American and the Caribbean for a total of 27 new country reports

We’re also preparing a special report on corruption in the Caribbean that will break new ground on investigating graft in small states. 

Watch for new rule of law impact in the United States, too. WJP Co-founder and Board Chair William Hubbard recently announced our new U.S.-focused campaign to “Rebuild Trust.


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An illustration of people interacting with the justice system

WJP Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen recently addressed the American Bar Association’s “Putting People first: People-Centered Justice at Home and Abroad” conference in Washington DC. Andersen used her remarks to define the unmet justice needs experienced by billions around the world and explain how people-centered justice can bridge the justice gap. 

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Gente sale a la calle para protestar en Guayaquil, Ecuador en 2015. Crédito de la foto Michael Müller/iStock

WASHINGTON, 17 de mayo de 2023 - La mayoría de la población de América Latina y el Caribe consideran que su gobierno utiliza la desinformación para moldear la opinión pública a su favor.  Este es sólo un indicio del autoritarismo y de la desconfianza generalizada en los gobiernos de la región, según se desprende de 26 nuevos reportes nacionales sobre el Estado de Derecho publicados hoy por el World Justice Project (WJP).  "Estos reportes representan las voces de las personas en toda América Latina y el Caribe y en cómo perciben y experimentan el Estado de Derecho", dijo Elizabeth Andersen, Directora Ejecutiva del WJP.  "Estamos más contentos que nunca de compartir más datos de nuestras encuestas para ayudar a las diversas partes interesadas a identificar las debilidades del Estado de derecho y desarrollar políticas para hacerles frente." 

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People marching in protest in central streets of Córdoba, Argentina, 2014. Credit: Andres Ruffo/iStock

WASHINGTON May 17, 2023 – The majority of people in Latin America and the Caribbean believe their government is using misinformation to shape public opinion in their favor.  That’s just one indication of authoritarianism and widespread mistrust of government in the region, as captured in 26 new Rule of Law country reports released today by the World Justice Project (WJP).   “These reports represent the voices of the people across Latin America and the Caribbean and how they perceive and experience the rule of law,” said WJP Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen.  “We are excited to share more of our survey data than ever before, to help diverse stakeholders pinpoint rule of law weaknesses and develop policies to address them.” 

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A group of Central American people walking along train tracks as they head north

WASHINGTON May 9, 2023 – About a third of people in the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras), on average, would like to migrate internationally according to new research from the World Justice Project.  Hondurans express the strongest desire to migrate, with 44% saying they would like to leave the country.  The proportion of people wishing to migrate has dropped in all three countries since 2021, although the percentage of people who already have a plan to migrate has stayed relatively stable, at an average of about 10%. The new data comes from a series of nationally representative household polls conducted in the three countries within the last year, updating an earlier 2021 study.  

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