World Justice Project's 'Rule of Law' Index Will Promote Health

By Johnson, Teddi Dineley | The Nation's Health, May-June 2010 | Go to article overview

World Justice Project's 'Rule of Law' Index Will Promote Health


Johnson, Teddi Dineley, The Nation's Health


GLOBAL health advocates are stepping up efforts to ensure that governments around the world are accountable, stable and fair and that the fundamental rights of their citizens are protected. Among the many initiatives under way is the World Justice Project's groundbreaking new effort to gauge a country's adherence to the so-called "rule of law," which project organizers broadly define as "simple justice."

At the organization's second World Justice Forum in November, project leaders unveiled a new tool to measure countries' adherence to the rule of law. Developed and administered by the World Justice Project, the Rule of Law Index helps policy-makers and public and private-sector leaders assess how nations adhere to the rule of law in practice in order to develop targeted and effective reforms.

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"The rule of law is the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity around the world," Juan Carlos Botero, JD, LLM, director of the Rule of Law Index, told The Nation's Health. "Without the rule of law, it is hard to develop opportunities for people in a society."

The Rule of Law Index covers 35 countries across the globe, with coverage expected to expand to 100 countries by 2011. Among the key factors considered in the index are whether the government and its officials are accountable under the law; whether the laws are clear, publicized, stable, fair and protect fundamental rights, including the security of people and property; and whether the process by which the laws are enacted and enforced is fair and efficient.

According to the World Justice Project, the rule of law requires a robust network of fair and just laws at the international, national and local levels, as well as a system for their fair and effective interpretation and implementation. …

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