The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and reinforced longstanding structural inequalities and governance weaknesses, including in many countries in the Asia Pacific region. Join us to explore the rule of law dimensions of the pandemic at the Asia Pacific Regional Launch of the 2021 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®, the world’s leading source for original rule of law data. The 2021 Index is the first in this annual series to capture rule of law changes during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2009, WJP has documented rule of law trends in its annual WJP Rule of Law Index®, expanded this year to cover 139 countries and jurisdictions. The Index relies on first-hand reports from more than 138,000 households and 4,200 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived in practical, everyday situations. The Index covers such rule of law factors as constraints on government power, fundamental rights, corruption, discrimination, security, and the functioning of regulatory, criminal, and civil justice systems. This quantitative tool provides citizens, governments, policymakers, donors, businesses, media, academics, and civil society organizations around the world with a comprehensive comparative analysis of countries’ adherence to universal rule of law principles.

Supporting Partner

The Law Society of Singapore

Keynote Speaker

Sundaresh Menon, The Honourable The Chief Justice of Singapore

Moderator

Simon Chesterman, Law Dean, National University of Singapore

Speakers

Shreya Basu, Deputy Director and Regional Lead, Asia-Pacific, Open Government Partnership

John Nery, Opinion Columnist at the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Moe Thuzar, Fellow & Coordinator, Myanmar Studies Programme, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Fu Hualing, Professor in Law, and holder of the Warren Chan Professorship in Human Rights and Responsibilities, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law

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The most recent WJP Rule of Law Index found that the pandemic has exacerbated rising authoritarianism, eroded respect for fundamental rights, and fueled justice delays around the world.  At the upcoming World Justice Forum (May 30–June 3), advocates and experts from civil society, government, and the private sector will convene to plot a constructive path forward.  How can we reinvigorate momentum to reach Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and ensure dignity and justice for all?

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The city of The Hague in the Netherlands is home to more than 200 international organizations, including the International Court of Justice. This makes it the ideal setting for the World Justice Forum, the premier international event for advancing rule of law around the globe. The World Justice Forum runs from May 30-June 2, but your experience doesn’t have to start or end there, as it is the anchor event for The Hague Justice Week 2022 running throughout the city.

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2016 march to the U.S. Capitol in protest of police shootings.  Credit: Joseph Gruber

The United States is facing significant and growing rule of law challenges. Diverse datasets capturing various dimensions of the rule of law reflect mounting concerns about democratic accountability, trust in electoral processes, contested rights of free expression and assembly, and systemic inequities in the U.S. justice system, among other issues, These trends raise questions about the quality of governance in the United States and, given the leadership role of the United States globally, they have implications for respect for the rule of law around the world as well. New data and related advanced analytical and machine learning methodologies hold great promise for improving understanding of these current U.S. rule of law trends and identifying reform needs and opportunities. As part of a new multi-year initiative focused on rule of law in the United States, the World Justice Project (WJP), together with the Wright Center for the Study of Computation and Justice Communities at Dartmouth College and Bright Line Watch, plans a two-day workshop for discussion of works-in-progress generating data insights on contemporary U.S. rule of law issues. The workshop will take place November 11-13, 2022, at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Travel stipends will be available to support participation by those selected to present papers at the workshop.

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Russian tanks lined up for “Victory Day” in 2021. Credit: Elena Ostankova/iStock
Russian tanks lined up for “Victory Day” in 2021. Credit: Elena Ostankova/iStock

Vladimir Putin’s claims of genocide in Ukraine were more than a fictional basis to rally domestic support for an invasion, according to University of Chicago Professor Tom Ginsburg. They were an example of a growing trend Ginsburg has termed “authoritarian international law.”  We spoke with Ginsburg, the co-chair of the World Justice Project’s research consortium and the author of the 2021 book Democracies and International Law

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