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During the opening session of the Asia Pacific Justice Forum (December 8-9, 2022), Professor Margaret Satterthwaite, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law, outlined the importance of an independent judiciary for countering rising authoritarianism. 

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To mark the second anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Rosenthal took inspiration from Frederick Douglass’s powerful 1852 exhortation to the nation, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” Rosenthal is an advocate for the arts and justice, serves as chief operating officer and corporate secretary of The Juilliard School, and participated in the 2022 World Justice Forum.

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At the closing session of the Asia Pacific Justice Forum (December 8-9, 2022), UN Special Rapporteur Vitit Muntarbhorn called for empathy and "transformative partnership" to expand the rule of law for all. In the remarks and video below, he lays out a vision for advancing the three regional priorities at the heart of the conference: access to justice, judicial independence, and freedom of expression.

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The World Justice Project, Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ2), and KEMITRAAN Partnership for Governance Reform recently hosted the Asia Pacific Justice Forum to focus on three pressing rule of law issues in the region - judicial independence, combatting disinformation, and ensuring access to justice for minorities.  WJP and our Forum partners welcomed more than 100 attendees to Jakarta, Indonesia for two days of interactive sessions and panels focused on these topics. Hundreds more participated in the Forum virtually.   

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A year and a half ago, Mehnaz was a teenager living in Afghanistan. She had friends, went to school and was part of a cycling team.  Then, everything changed.  “After the Taliban took over, the world of cycling, education, and the world of my dreams all became dark to my eyes. I lost all hope, and my heart was broken,” Mehnaz said. 

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Three wrongfully convicted men whose story WJP highlighted earlier this year are now free in Mexico. On December 7, Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Gonzalo García Hernández, Juan Luis López García and Héctor Muñoz Muñoz were unjustly convicted of attempted kidnapping and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Deprived of their freedom since 2015, the men were immediately released following the ruling. 

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Brazil has experienced one of the world’s largest declines in rule of law since 2016, with its overall rule of law score falling each year for five consecutive years, according to data from the 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index. These declinescome amidst a five-year trend of global backsliding. In Brazil, as globally, the declines have been largely driven by rising authoritarianism, exhibited by weakened constraints on government powers and the deterioration of fundamental rights and freedoms. The falling effectiveness of the civil justice system, exacerbated by COVID pressures, has been another major driver of declines.

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“Stick to your knitting.” That’s what some companies are hearing as part of an “ESG backlash” that says they should stay out of social and environmental issues, according to Conference Board ESG Center Executive Director Paul Washington.

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Confidence in accountability for U.S. public officials plummeted from 2016 to 2021, according to World Justice Project (WJP) surveys.  Would a high-level official pay a price for pocketing public money? Would a politically connected person be held responsible for a non-violent crime?  The answers increasingly became no among the general public and legal experts.  This year, the United States finally turned a corner on its overall WJP Rule of Law Index score after sharp declines in the preceding five years, but it still has much lost ground to regain.    In recognition of this challenge, the WJP is embarking on a new U.S. campaign to strengthen rule of law and “rebuild trust.” Co-founder and Board Chair William Hubbard announced the effort at a recent rule of law briefing cosponsored by the American Bar Association Cornerstones of Democracy Commission. 

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In recent years equal rights and non-discrimination protections have weakened, putting at-risk groups in danger of further erasure and marginalization. The 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index points to a rise in discrimination during the pandemic, with 70% of countries and jurisdictions having declined in equal treatment and absence of discrimination. Vulnerable groups already exposed to systemic inequality—such as the LGBTQI+ community, children with disabilities, women, and ethnic and racial minorities—were further marginalized during the crisis, and continue to be left out of solutions to “build back better.” At the World Justice Forum 2022, equal rights leaders, activists, and academics came together to discuss the increasing challenges these groups face, as well as promising solutions to address them.

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Every year, the WJP Rule of Law Index takes a detailed look at adherence to rule of law principles around the world. This year’s Index covers 140 countries and jurisdictions and contains data on eight factors that make up the rule of law, including fundamental rights, absence of corruption, and criminal justice.   Insights from the 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index show that adherence to rule of law fell in 61% of countries this year. Globally, this means that 4.4 billion people live in countries where rule of law has declined over the past year.   Rule of law impacts our rights, our safety, our well-being, and our access to justice. The WJP Rule of Law Index provides original data annually on people’s experiences with and perceptions of rule of law in 140 countries and jurisdictions around the world, making the Index a valuable resource for policymakers, business leaders, and advocates. 

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WASHINGTON (Oct. 26, 2022) – For the fifth year in a row, the rule of law has declined globally, according to the 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®. The World Justice Project’s analysis of in-depth survey data in 140 countries and jurisdictions shows that adherence to the rule of law fell in 61% of countries this year.

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The rule of law isn’t just relevant to lawyers and judges—it affects people’s rights, access to justice, and safety in their neighborhoods; it affects whether governments are open and accountable; and it affects whether corruption is allowed to take root, and whether people can thrive.   The WJP Rule of Law Index, published annually, gives insights into people’s experiences with and perceptions of rule of law in 140 countries and jurisdictions around the world.  

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The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index is the world's leading source for original rule of law data. WJP has released the Index annually since 2009, and this year's edition will expand to cover 140 countries and jurisdictions around the world.

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