A photo of the Identifying What Works plenary speakers. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation is speaking.

The World Justice Forum 2022: Building More Just Communities gathered over 1,200 people from 116 countries in The Hague, Netherlands and online for a week of learning, collaboration, and agenda-setting for the international rule of law and justice community. From May 30 to June 3, the Forum hosted participants from across civil society, government agencies, the private sector, inter-governmental organizations, the donor community, and media. 

The World Justice Project (WJP) and co-producing partners focused the Forum agenda on three intersecting themes critical to addressing the root causes of injustices exacerbated during the pandemic: Anti-Corruption and Open Government, Access to Justice, and Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination. The program featured dynamic plenary discussions, interactive working sessions, the Justice Expo exhibition hall, off-site visits to explore local initiatives in The Hague, presentation of the World Justice Challenge finalists and winners, and cultural activities including music, dance and cartoonists. 

Following a special welcoming reception on May 30, the action-oriented agenda began on May 31 with a focus on diagnosing key challenges and priorities across the Forum’s three themes. 

See Day 1 highlights with speakers including WJP Chairman of the Board William Hubbard, Ugandan justice official Edgar Kuhimbisa, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Pam Wood, Sierra Leone Justice Minister Mohamed-Lamin Tarawalley, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová:

June 1 was dedicated to highlighting promising approaches for impact and change, with a focus on effective rule of law projects presented by 30 World Justice Challenge finalists from 27 countries. 

See Day 2 highlights featuring WJP Board Member and Rappler journalist John Nery, former Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, Uzbekistan Justice Minister Ruslanbek Davletov, Kenyan Justice official Paul Kimalu, and International Trade Union General Secretary Sharan Burrow:

June 2 featured recommendations and commitments to take action on the key issues identified and highlighted during the Forum. And on June 3, the Forum hosted partner side events and workshops on a diverse array of rule of law topics.

See Day 3 highlights including from the World Justice Challenge award ceremony and remarks from WJP Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen, former Irish President and Chair of the Elders Mary Robinson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy Keynote speaker Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, CIVICUS Secretary General Lysa John, and WJP Co-founder and CEO William Neukom:

For the first time ever, this year’s Forum was held in a hybrid format to allow interactive participation for both in-person and online attendees around the world. To support broad and diverse engagement, Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish simultaneous interpretation was offered for all key program components, in addition to the Forum’s primary language of English. 

At the close of the Forum WJP Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen shared the Forum’s final statement, which was drafted collaboratively with partners to capture key insights and priorities for strengthening the rule of law that emerged from the week’s activities. This included a commitment to rescue the global rule of law from its current downward trajectory, a call for re-doubled investment and political will towards a people-centered justice agenda, and a confirmation in our shared conviction that the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and particularly the fulfillment of SDG 16, remains the best path forward for all countries. 

These commitments have already been bolstered by numerous outcomes that emerged from the Forum, which served as a critical platform to establish and advance rule of law priorities. 

Initiatives and outcomes that emerged from the 2022 World Justice Forum include: 

Many more outcomes continue to develop and will be featured in a final report coming in September. 

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Corruption is on the rise globally, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend and demonstrated its urgency. The 2021 WJP Rule of Law Index shows that 66% of the 139 countries covered by the Index declined in absence of corruption in 2021 and 58% have declined over the last six years. Meanwhile, Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index states that 131 out of 180 countries studied have made “no significant progress against corruption in the past decade.”  To address this mounting challenge, The World Justice Forum 2022 convened anti-corruption experts from around the world in The Hague and online to discuss the root causes of corruption, its existential threat to the rule of law, and the methods that prove most effective in combating it.

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On September 4, Chile rejected the adoption of a new constitution, that would, among other provisions, enshrine gender parity at the national level.   World Justice Challenge 2022 honoree Fundación Multitudes was deeply involved in the lead up to the vote, hosting a series of conversations with women candidates to the Constitutional Convention, feminist activists, and others in 2020 and 2021. It was through these workshops that they recognized that disinformation and online gender-based violence were a barrier that discouraged women from pursuing a political career or even participating in the political arena as advocates and citizens.   WJP recently talked to Paulina Ibarra, Executive Director of Fundación Multitudes, to learn more about their work in Chile, and how, in light of the recent referendum results, they are looking to the future.  

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Three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the World Justice Project sat down with Dariia Marchak, Chief Operating Officer of SE Prozorro.Sale, a World Justice Challenge finalist in the Anti-Corruption and Open Government Category.   SE Prozorro.Sale is a Ukrainian state enterprise that has transformed the country’s privatization process through an electronic auction platform that facilitates transparent sales of government assets to private companies. Since the war began, the company has continued its work, running auctions to raise money for Ukraine’s defense and humanitarian aid.   Marchak shared insights into SE Prozorro.Sale’s work as an anti-corruption platform and how months after the start of the war, Ukrainians are focused not just on resistance, but on building a better, stronger democracy.  

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an exceptional lawyer, judge, and trailblazing advocate for women’s rights, in addition to being an honorary chair of the World Justice Project, where she has served as an inspiration for building the rule of law movement.   In June, the World Justice Project honored her legacy at the 2022 World Justice Forum, with the first Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy Keynote Conversation. The featured speaker was Sherrilyn Ifill, a prominent American civil rights lawyer and inspirational advocate who is president and director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Before a wide-ranging conversation with CIVICUS Secretary General Lysa John, Ifill delivered the keynote remarks below. 

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