Rule of Law: Introducing the Rule of Law Impact Tracker

Posted on 09-13-2016


 

TO FURTHER THE GOAL OF ADVANCING the rule of law around the world, LexisNexis Legal & Professional has launched a first-of-its-kind interactive rule of law awareness tool, the LexisNexis Rule of Law Impact Tracker.

According to the United Nations, approximately four billion people live outside the protection of the rule of law. There is growing recognition by lawyers, businesspeople, governments, academics, NGOs, and citizens that the rule of law is a cornerstone for sustainable global development. The Rule of Law Impact Tracker is a unique way for users to see, in numbers, the impact that the advancement of the rule of law has on such development.

“The rule of law provides the foundation for how we live, the freedoms we have, and the degree of security that we enjoy. International companies also know that a strong rule of law is crucial for doing business. Our analysis quantifies the transformational impact [that the] rule of law has on sustainable social and economic development, as well as what’s possible if we work together to effect change,” said Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional.

The Rule of Law Impact Tracker brings together the best available data from the World Justice Project, the World Bank, and Transparency International to allow users to explore why the rule of law is vitally important to sustainable global development and to visualize what is truly possible if the rule of law grows around the world.

The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index is the most respected and comprehensive analysis of how well countries perform in the rule of law. Countries are scored against 44 rule-of-law indicators across eight categories, based on interviews with 100,000 households and 2,400 experts around the globe. The categories are: 

  • Government powers
  • Absence of corruption
  • Open government
  • Fundamental rights
  • Order and security
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Civil justice
  • Criminal justice

One hundred two countries have been indexed with a score of between zero and one, with one representing the strongest rule of law. The scores differ greatly from country to country. Venezuela ranks the lowest for rule of law with a score of 32%, and Denmark leads the way at the most advanced end of the scale, scoring 87%. The United States scores 73% and ranks 19th, below Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

A country’s rule of law score on the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index closely correlates to five important indicators of economic and social development: GDP per capita, child mortality, homicide rates, corruption, and life expectancy. The Rule of Law Impact Tracker enables users to calculate the effects that improvements in the rule of law mean score would have on each of these indicators.

Based upon the statistical correlations among the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index and these five measures of economic and societal health, a 10% increase in the rule of law mean score during the next decade would result in: 

  • GDP per capita going up by about $7,000 per person
  • Child mortality rates declining from 24 to 16 deaths per 1,000 live births
  • Crime going down by more than 30%
  • Average life expectancy increasing by more than two years

The Rule of Law Impact Tracker is a part of the effort of LexisNexis Legal & Professional in support of the Business for the Rule of Law (B4ROL) initiative, which was launched by the United Nations Global Compact last year. The B4ROL Framework offers a guide for businesses around the world in taking proactive, voluntary actions to support the rule of law in their everyday operations and relationships as a complement to respecting the rule of law.