Organizations::Rule of law


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Organizations Various organizations are involved in promoting the rule of law.

International Commission of Jurists

In 1959, an international gathering of over 185 judges, lawyers, and law professors from 53 countries, meeting in New Delhi and speaking as the International Commission of Jurists, made a declaration as to the fundamental principle of the rule of law. This was the Declaration of Delhi. They declared that the rule of law implies certain rights and freedoms, that it implies an independent judiciary, and that it implies social, economic and cultural conditions conducive to human dignity. The Declaration of Delhi did not, however, suggest that the rule of law requires legislative power to be subject to judicial review.<ref>Goldsworthy, Jeffrey. “Legislative Sovereignty and the Rule of Law" in Tom Campbell, Keith D. Ewing and Adam Tomkins (eds), Sceptical Essays on Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p 69.</ref>

United Nations

The Secretary-General of the United Nations defines the rule of law as:<ref>What is the Rule of Law?, United Nations Rule of Law.</ref>

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 General Assembly has considered rule of law as an agenda item since 1992, with renewed interest since 2006 and has adopted resolutions at its last three sessions.<ref>See United Nations General Assembly Resolutions A/RES/61/39, A/RES/62/70, A/RES/63/128.</ref> The Security Council has held a number of thematic debates on the rule of law,<ref>See United Nations Security Council debates S/PRST/2003/15, S/PRST/2004/2, S/PRST/2004/32, S/PRST/2005/30, S/PRST/2006/28.</ref> and adopted resolutions emphasizing the importance of these issues in the context of women, peace and security,<ref>See United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820.</ref> children in armed conflict,<ref>E.g. see United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612.</ref> and the protection of civilians in armed conflict.<ref>E.g. see United Nations Security Council Resolution 1674.</ref> The Peacebuilding Commission has also regularly addressed rule of law issues with respect to countries on its agenda.<ref>United Nations and the Rule of Law.</ref> The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action also requires the rule of law be included in human rights education.<ref>Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action Part II, paragraph 79</ref>

International Bar Association

The Council of the International Bar Association passed a resolution in 2009 endorsing a substantive or "thick" definition of the rule of law:<ref>Resolution of the Council of the International Bar Association of October 8, 2009, on the Commentary on Rule of Law Resolution (2005).</ref>

An independent, impartial judiciary; the presumption of innocence; the right to a fair and public trial without undue delay; a rational and proportionate approach to punishment; a strong and independent legal profession; strict protection of confidential communications between lawyer and client; equality of all before the law; these are all fundamental principles of the Rule of Law. Accordingly, arbitrary arrests; secret trials; indefinite detention without trial; cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; intimidation or corruption in the electoral process, are all unacceptable. The Rule of Law is the foundation of a civilised society. It establishes a transparent process accessible and equal to all. It ensures adherence to principles that both liberate and protect. The IBA calls upon all countries to respect these fundamental principles. It also calls upon its members to speak out in support of the Rule of Law within their respective communities.

World Justice Project

As used by the World Justice Project, a non-profit organization committed to advancing the rule of law around the world, the rule of law refers to a rules-based system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:<ref>About the WJP.</ref>

1. The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law;
2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable, 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, fair, and efficient;
4. Access to justice is provided by competent, independent, and ethical adjudicators, attorneys or representatives, and judicial officers who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

The World Justice Project has developed an Index to measure the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice. The WJP Rule of Law Index is composed of 9 factors and 52 sub-factors, and covers a variety of dimensions of the rule of law —such as whether government officials are accountable under the law, and whether legal institutions protect fundamental rights and allow ordinary people access to justice.<ref>Agrast, M., Botero, J., Ponce, A., WJP Rule of Law Index 2011. Washington, D.C.: The World Justice Project. (2011).</ref>

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) is an intergovernmental organization with a joint focus on the promotion of rule of law and development. It works to empower people and communities to claim their rights, and provides governments with the know-how to realize them.<ref name="IDLO - What we Do">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It supports emerging economies and middle-income countries to strengthen their legal capacity and rule of law framework for sustainable development and economic opportunity.<ref>IDLO Strategic Plan</ref> It is the only intergovernmental organization with an exclusive mandate to promote the rule of law and has experience working in more than 170 countries around the world.<ref>IDLO Mission and History</ref>

The International Development Law Organization has a holistic definition of the rule of law:

More than a matter of due process, the rule of law is an enabler of justice and development. The three notions are interdependent; when realized, they are mutually reinforcing. For IDLO, as much as a question of laws and procedure, the rule of law is a culture and daily practice. It is inseparable from equality, from access to justice and education, from access to health and the protection of the most vulnerable. It is crucial for the viability of communities and nations, and for the environment that sustains them.<ref>IDLO - Rule of Law</ref>

IDLO is head-quartered in Rome and has a branch office in The Hague and has Permanent Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Rule of law sections
Intro  History   Meaning and categorization of interpretations   Status in various jurisdictions  Organizations  In relation to economics  See also  Notes and references  Bibliography  External links  

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