In 2018, the rule of law came under increasing pressure worldwide. Growing injustice and inequality are fueling distrust of institutions and a turn to authoritarianism. WJP research shows that more than 3 billion people worldwide face unmet justice needs. This “justice gap”—comprised of barriers to resolving everyday justice problems for the general public and systematic exclusion from the law for at-risk populations—reinforces inequalities, undermines development, and erodes democracy.
Despite this, with your help as supporters, partners, and advocates, we are making a difference through data and research that make the case for rule of law and supporting a global network of policymakers and community leaders working to realize it. Below are selected stories from 2018 that show how World Justice Project is helping lay the foundation for greater justice, opportunity, and peace in the world. Interested in supporting our work? Visit our donation page to help support our work strengthening the rule of law—reducing corruption, combating poverty and disease, and protecting people from injustices large and small.
On January 31, 2018, WJP released the 2017-2018 WJP Rule of Law Index measuring the rule of law in 113 countries worldwide based on more than 110,000 household and expert surveys. As reported in The Guardian, Newsweek, and elsewhere, a decline in fundamental human rights and checks on government powers drove a decline in the rule of law worldwide. Stay tuned in 2019: in addition to new reports on open government, access to justice, and the rule of law in Mexico, we will be launching the next WJP Rule of Law Index in late February 2019.
Convened under the theme of "Realizing Justice for All," World Justice Forum VI will highlight key research findings on the relationship between justice and sustainable development; showcase successful solutions; foster multi-sectoral collaboration; and mobilize commitments. Up to 1,000 governmental and non-governmental actors, private sector leaders, and members of the donor community will convene April 29 to May 2, 2019 in The Hague.
In June 2018, WJP launched the Resource Hub, a searchable, online directory of trusted organizations working on rule of law issues worldwide. The new resource for the rule of law community was built to connect ordinary people as well as practitioners and experts to local and regional organizations working on government accountability, human rights, security, access to justice, anti-corruption, open government, and other issues related to the rule of law.
Through the use of inmate surveys and data analysis, together with storytelling and documentary film making, our Mexico team has a proven strategy for promoting more effective anti-torture norms and spurring systemic reform. In November, this project was honored as a top-ten project out of hundreds presented at the Paris Peace Forum. Donor contributions help us support vital projects like this—and others like it (read about donating to WJP here).
Meet some of the world's most knowledgeable experts on the rule of law via our new podcast—Rule of Law Talk, a series featuring conversations with leading lights on the front lines of understanding and advancing the rule of law. Check our latest episodes with Rachel Kleinfeld on violence in democracies; Javier Martín Reyes on Mexico and the rule of law; Ed Rekosh on the business case for civil society, Rebecca Sandefur on fixing the civil justice gap; Tom Ginsburg on his new book, How To Save a Constitutional Democracy; and more. Listen and subscribe now!
A vigorous, free press is critically important to supporting and strengthening the rule of law. In October 2018, WJP was pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 WJP Anthony Lewis Prize for Exceptional Rule of Law Journalism. A reporting team from Mexico’s Animal Político are the 2018 prize winners for their investigative reporting series, "To Murder in Mexico: Impunity Guaranteed." Congratulations to Arturo Ángel, Paris Martínez, Daniela Rea, Yosune Chamizo Alberro, Rodrigo Crespo, and Jesús Santamaría for their outstanding contribution to increased awareness and understanding of the importance of the rule of law.