On December 4th, an advance, unedited version of the UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report on the post-2015 agenda was released: “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.” The report will be formally issued in the six official languages of the UN on December 31st.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are now under development and consideration to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and are set to expire in 2015. In the synthesis report, a new conceptual framework for the emerging SDGs is offered, organized around six “Essential Elements” as seen in the following graphic from the report:

“The World Justice Project welcomes the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report,” said executive director Juan Carlos Botero. “We agree with the report’s call for 'an enabling environment under the rule of law,' which is foundational to sustainable development.”

Following is the report’s detailed description of the goal of Justice:

"Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions

77. Effective governance for sustainable development demands that public institutions in all countries and at all levels be inclusive, participatory, and accountable to the people. Laws and institutions must protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. All must be free from fear and violence, without discrimination. We also know that participatory democracy, free, safe, and peaceful societies are both enablers and outcomes of development.

78. Access to fair justice systems, accountable institutions of democratic governance, measures to combat corruption and curb illicit financial flows, and safeguards to protect personal security are integral to sustainable development. An enabling environment under the rule of law must be secured for the free, active and meaningful engagement of civil society and advocates reflecting the voices of women, minorities, LGBT groups, indigenous peoples, youth, adolescents and older persons. Press freedom and access to information, freedom of expression, assembly and association are enablers of sustainable development. The practice of child, early and forced marriage must be ended everywhere. The rule of law must be strengthened at the national and international level, to secure justice for all.

79. We need to rebuild and reintegrate societies better after crises and conflicts. We must address state fragility, support internally displaced persons and contribute to resilience of people and communities. Reconciliation, peacebuilding and state-building are critical for countries to overcome fragility and develop cohesive societies, and strong institutions. These investments are essential to retaining the gains of development and avoiding reversals in the future."

For more information on the rule of law, please visit our page on the topic.

WJP Staff
title bar

Read More

title bar

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More