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World Justice Project

Authors: James J. Heckman, Robert L. Nelson

The World Justice Project (WJP) is a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. It is building a broad and diverse constituency that will advance the rule of law as a foundation for thriving communities.

Universal Principles

The WJP working definition of the rule of law comprises four universal principles:

  1. The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law;
  2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property;
  3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient;
  4. The laws are upheld, and access to justice is provided, by competent, independent, and ethical law enforcement officials, attorneys or representatives, and judges who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

Many people do not make the connection between the rule of law and the essentials of their daily lives – their safety, jobs, health, education, and infrastructure.  These essentials are taken for granted in communities where the rule of law is relatively strong, and are absent where it is weak.  Thus, all too often people in all societies overlook the importance of the rule of law as a foundation for thriving communities and virtually all fields of endeavor.

To help “mainstream” the rule of law, the World Justice Project is engaging with a variety of disciplines around the world.  It seeks to make the rule of law fundamental to their thinking and actions -- from education and public health, to engineering and public safety. 


Summaries and findings

Group on Access to Justice- Papers
Mar 28, 2017
Heckman Group - Papers
Mar 28, 2017
World Justice Project and the ABF
Mar 27, 2017

All summaries and findings »

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