Rule of Law Resources

The rule of law sets forth to give all people of a society reliable access to justice, free of corruption or discrimination. The rule of law looks to the judicial system of a country or state to keep the people and the government accountable. When there are disputes between these governing bodies, international courts are called upon to enforce the rule of law. Here are some resources to learn more about the rule of law and how it is implemented and maintained.

"A positive, sustainable peace in post-civil conflict situations can only be built upon the (re)establishment of the Rule of Law."

Clint Williamson

Former US Ambassador for War Crimes Issues

ASU Law International Rule of Law and Secuirty Program

Arizona State University is uniquely positioned to offer a program in International Rule of Law and Security (IRLS). The IRLS is the first comprehensive program at a law school focused on training students for this work from practitioners in and around Washington, D.C. As future lawyers, students will gain deep practical knowledge of a growing field, international exposure and expertise and a robust network of contacts. This training will prepare graduates for international development and policy jobs in the public and private sectors.

World Justice Project® (WJP)

World Justice Project® (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world. This organization maintains data on how the general public experiences the rule of law in 102 countries around the world. It looks at eight foundations of the rule of law: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

United Nations and the Rule of Law

“For the United Nations, the rule of law refers to a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency.”

The United Nations Rule of Law Indicators, Implementation Guide and Project Tools

(Copyright © United Nations, 2011)

The U.S. Department of State

According to The United States Institute of Peace, “Rule of law refers to an end state in which all individuals and institutions, public and private, and the state itself are held accountable to the law, which is supreme. Laws must be consistent with international human rights norms and standards, legally certain, legally transparent, drafted with procedural transparency, and publicly promulgated. This end state requires equal enforcement and equality before the law, independent adjudication of the law, fairness in the application of the law, and avoidance of arbitrariness. Access to justice—the ability of people to seek and obtain a remedy through informal or formal institutions of justice—is a mutually reinforcing component of rule of law. The rule of law requires the separation of powers and participation in decision-making. Rule of law is the ideal that states strive for; stabilization requires urgent focus toward this end.”

The International Court of Justice

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

International Criminal Court