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Rule of Law Index 2012 – latest from Seattle’s quiet revolutionary front

The new Rule of Law Index for 2102 is out! Apparently, Nordic countries are most law-abiding and Asia is full of scofflaws. Here’s a link to an interactive map (below is just a screen grab):

World Justice Project

Never heard of the Rule of Law Index?

It was started out of Seattle. I’ve mentioned before (here and here, for example) that post-WTO Battle in Seattle is still full of a lot of folks trying to change the world. This is another example.

William Neukom

The World Justice Project was launched a few years ago by Seattle attorney and former Microsoft general counsel Bill Neukom. The initiative is aimed at “reducing corruption, improving public health, enhancing education, lifting people from poverty and protecting them from injustices.” Neukom, I should note, was the lead attorney in Microsoft’s battle with the federal government defending the software giant from federal anti-trust charges and has worked hard to protect Microsoft’s intellectual property rights.

So, yes, he’s a corporate cage fighter. But that was his day job. Shining a light on global lawlessness, government corruption and human rights violations is Neukom’s side job.

As Inter Press reports, the project has issued its annual Rule of Law Index rankings of how well countries do when it comes to adhering to nine factors: Limited government powers; absence of corruption; order and security; fundamental rights; open government; regulatory enforcement; civil justice; criminal justice; and informal justice. The US did a fair to middling job, as Inter Press notes:

Botswana, in particular, scored consistently among the higher-income countries, besting the United States, for example, in three factors: providing fair and equal access to the criminal and civil justice systems, and fair enforcement of regulations.

Here’s the annual report for the 2012 rankings.



About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.

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