The World Justice Project has published its annual report on adherence to rule of law worldwide. The 2019 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index includes data gathered through expert surveys carried out in more than 120 countries. The eight categories for rule of law performance for the countries included in the Index are:
- Constraints on Government Powers
- Absence of Corruption
- Open Government
- Fundamental Rights
- Order and Security
- Regulatory Enforcement
- Civil Justice; and
- Criminal Justice
Overall, the measure for “Constraints on Government Powers” showed a marked decline globally, signalling a troubling rise in authoritarianism. “Criminal Justice” also saw a significant decline over the past year followed by “Open Government” and “Fundamental Rights.” Highlights from the new World Justice Project Rule of Law Index are available in the Press Release here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/news/wjp-rule-law-index-2019-global-press-release. The 2019 Rule of Law Index can be downloaded from the World Justice Project website here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/publications/rule-law-index-reports/wjp-rule-law-index-2019.
A recently published “Measuring the Justice Gap” methodological paper by the World Justice Project and the Task Force on Justice highlights the urgency of addressing the global access to justice gap, a problem that currently sees an estimated 5 billion worldwide with unmet legal needs. The paper discusses categories of justice need, presents the objectives and principles guiding the assessment of the justice gap, and offers details on question design, methods and definitions included in the justice gap measurement framework. “Measuring the Justice Gap” is available online here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/Measuring%20the%20Justice%20Gap_WJP%20Update_Feb2019_Final-updated_0.pdf.
The international Task Force on Justice is an initiative that launched in 2018 to help tackle the global access to justice crisis – a problem that currently sees more than four billion people around the world living outside the protection of the law. This week, the Task Force’s Innovation Working Group published “Innovating Justice: Needed & Possible”, a report that explores ways that innovation can help to address unmet legal needs, the investment possibilities that justice innovation provides, and parameters for increasing and improving justice innovation in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.3 – equal access to justice for all. The report offers examples of new technologies as well as technological upgrades that can help to advance access to justice and also calls for financing justice innovation.
“Innovating Justice: Needed & Possible”, the report of the Innovation Working Group of the Task Force on Justice is available online here: https://www.hiil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Report-of-the-Innovation-Working-Group-of-the-Task-Force-on-Justice.pdf.
The UK’s Ministry of Justice has published post-implementation reviews of Parts 1 and 2 of the the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). Part 1 of LASPO, which came into effect in 2013, deals with reforms to the scope of, eligibility for, and fees that fall within the ambit of legal aid in England Wales. Part 2 is concerned with reducing the costs of civil litigation and rebalancing the costs liabilities between claimants and defendants while ensuring that parties with a valid case are still able to bring or defend a claim.
At the introduction of the reforms to LASPO, the Government at the time committed to conducting post-implementation reviews to determine the impact of the changes relative to their objectives. Though the reviews have come under criticism from the Bar Council, among others, the Ministry of Justice has indicated that they are content with reports’ findings and do not plan to recommend amendments to the legislation.
Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of LASPO is available online here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777038/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo.pdf.
Post-Implementation Review of Part 2 of LASPO is available online here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777039/post-implementation-review-of-part-2-of-laspo.pdf.