WJP's 2023 Year-End ImpactMeasuring What Matters

In 2023, our data showed the rule of law recession continues.  

We identified the major trends impeding just communities with the release of the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2023. Around the world, governments are expanding unchecked powers, people are losing fundamental rights, and justice systems are struggling to deliver timely, equitable justice. 

Yet, progress is possible.  

At our October Index launch, we highlighted global rule-of-law bright spots and diverse leaders attested that rigorous data helps them champion reform. The World Bank uses our Index to advance good governance and economic development. The International Justice Mission employs it to fight human trafficking. And two top Index score improvers—Honduras and Kenya—leverage our data to fight corruption and advance people-centered justice.  

We’re taking our data to communities ripe for reform. 

In Bangkok this August, we convened leaders from civil society, the private sector, and the government of Thailand to dig into Index data and chart a path to reform. In Mexico, our on-the-ground engagement has now led 28 of 32 states to adopt WJP Mexico States Rule of Law Index indicators in official anti-corruption, justice, human rights, governance, and security strategies, and leaders from opposing parties hailed the impact at our June launch event and beyond. 

And there’s much more to come. 

We’re now deep into data collection for another groundbreaking subnational project—one that stretches across the 27 countries of the European Union. Stay tuned in 2024 when we’ll provide policymakers and changemakers with the region’s most comprehensive and textured access to justice, governance, and other rule of law data to date.

Charting a Sea Change for Justice

The movement for people-centered justice takes center stage.   

As momentum for people-centered justice builds globally, we’re proud to help lead the way. At this year’s Summit for Democracy, we co-led the cohort behind a joint call to action for people-centered justice. Ten countries and 15 international and national organizations signed on, pledging to adopt principles that prioritize people and their justice needs over existing institutions that often fall short. 

A paradigm shift at USAID and beyond 

Our work measuring the global justice gap is front and center in USAID’s new rule of law strategy, which fully embraces people-centered justice over top-down strategies. As the movement builds, our thought leadership is driving the conversation on what people-centered justice is and why it’s our best hope to close the global justice gap.  

Setting the data agenda 

We’ve also dug deeper than ever into our legal needs and justice surveys to visualize new justice data findings. We’re the first to assess 60 countries on the global access to justice indicator (Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 16.3.3). We’ve just revealed the greater justice challenges women and people living in poverty face. And we’re calling for more data to drive justice around the world. 

Countering Authoritarianism

In August, the National Conference of Bar Presidents invited WJP to support U.S. lawyers in standing up for the rule of law and democracy. Following an impassioned keynote from former Judge J. Michael Luttig, WJP board chair William Hubbard previewed our new U.S. rule of law toolkit

A U.S. campaign and a global competition 

We’re mobilizing U.S. legal leaders to rebuild trust in justice institutions and counter the rising authoritarianism our data reveals. At the same time, we’ve issued a worldwide call for best practices in reinforcing the rule of law foundation of democracy.  

Join the search for solutions 

Our 2024 World Justice Challenge will recognize and reward projects that strengthen the electoral process, build trust in justice institutions, protect free media, and strengthen young people’s commitment to rule of law and democracy. We invite you to spread the word and celebrate the rule of law champions we all need now. 


We will continue to defend the rule of law. But we cannot do it without supporters like you. Will you join us? 


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