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World Justice Project: Rule of Law Index report released

November 29, 2012

This week, the World Justice Project (WJP), an independent, non-profit organization that develops communities of opportunity and equity by advancing the rule of law worldwide, released their 2012 Rule of Law Index report.

According to the WJP, the Rule of Law is a system in which four universal principles are upheld: 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, efficient, and fair; 4) Justice is delivered by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is an assessment tool that offers a comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice. The index identifies a nation’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison to similarly situated countries and tracks changes over time. According to the WJP, the 2012 Rule of Law Index report provides information about 97 countries and jurisdictions, representing over 90 per cent of the world’s population, and this report was informed by interviews with 97,000 members of the general public and more than 2,500 experts in 97 countries, including Canada.

The 97 countries are ranked based on eight criteria on the index, including: Limited government powers (Canada ranks 15 out of 97); Absence of corruption (Canada ranks 12); Order and security (Canada ranks 10); Fundamental rights (Canada ranks 18); Open government (Canada ranks 6); Regulatory enforcement (Canada ranks 12); Civil justice (Canada ranks 13) and Criminal justice (Canada ranks 13).

To access the full report, visit

See also “Canada drops in worldwide justice index,” Toronto Star, November 28, 2012 at

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