Capturing the rule of law changes during a global pandemic.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and reinforced longstanding structural inequalities and governance weaknesses. On October 14th we launched 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 survey responses gathered from more than 138,000 households and 4,200 experts 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. 

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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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