ABA, World Justice Project panel to discuss strengthening rule of law in America

The American Bar Association’s Cornerstones of Democracy Commission and the World Justice Project will host a virtual discussion among leading experts on the latest Rule of Law Index, which shows the United States’ steady decline in the rankings and what steps can be taken to strengthen the rule of law in the country.

“Rebuilding Trust: An Agenda for Strengthening the Rule of Law in the United States” will take place Tuesday, November 15, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom.

ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross will discuss the association’s initiative to restore civics, civility and collaboration – the Cornerstones of Democracy – back into our society and justice system. “Civics, civility and collaboration are needed to restore confidence in our democratic institutions and to protect the rule of law,” Enix-Ross said. “Lawyers appreciate that although our differences may be stark, we know how to work together to resolve them. We know how to agree to disagree.”

The panel also includes William Hubbard, the co-founder and chair of the board of directors of the World Justice Project, who served as president of the American Bar Association in 2014-15; Alejandro Ponce, the chief research officer of the World Justice Project and one of the original designers and a lead author of the WJP Rule of Law Index; and David Carroll who leads the Carter Center’s initiative on developing standards and best practices in international election observation.

According to the latest World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, a leading measure of the rule of law globally, the rule of law declined steadily in the United States between 2016 and 2021. The deterioration was particularly steep (16%) in the index measure of “Constraints on Government Powers,” which gauges how well executive authority is held accountable, including by the legislature, judiciary, independent audit agencies, the media, civil society and elections. This deterioration compounded longstanding poor U.S. performance in certain areas – particularly discrimination in the justice system and access to justice – to cause the 2021 U.S. global ranking to slip to 27th out of 139 countries studied.

The webinar is free. To register, visit https://bit.ly/3WZGcia.


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