By Staff, LexisNexis*
Fifty-seven per cent of the world’s population lives outside the shelter of the law. Legal Publisher LexisNexis is playing its part to bring that figure down.
The rule of law, put simply, is the idea that “no one is above the law”. It is the fundamental basis on which prosperous societies rest. Access to legal remedies, equal and transparent laws and an independent judiciary are all important in the development of peaceful societies.
Fifty-seven per cent of the world’s population lives outside the shelter of the law. That is four billion people struggling for basic, human rights every day.
At LexisNexis, we are working bring the percentage of people living outside the umbrella protection of the rule of law down to zero through our day-to-day business operations, products and services, and actions as a corporate citizen.
Not only are we committed to actively advancing the rule of law through our daily operations and the efforts of our people, we undertake a variety of work in the larger world, involving technology, that can benefit everyone.
Our customers are found in law firms, courts, businesses, government and academia; areas which are perfect for collaboration with LexisNexis in our rule of law projects. Lexis Nexis’s efforts and creativity are being channelled into promoting our belief that when you put information and technology into the right hands, you give people the power to shape the world.
Why is it Important?
The rule of law is important because as its impact increases, then access to work increases, and innovation, economic growth and infrastructure are stimulated. This enables families to lift themselves out of poverty.
The roll-on effects are clear: health and wellbeing improve, inequalities and acts of violence decrease, and child mortality rates lower while overall life expectancy increases.
Tracking the Rule of Law
LexisNexis has developed an interactive tool called the Rule of Law Impact Tracker which measures the progress of the rule of law globally. Created with data from the World Justice Project, the World Bank and Transparency International, it tracks the relationships between the rule of law and economic or social indicators.
Countries are scored against 44 indicators across eight categories, based on interviews with 100,000 households and 2,400 experts around the globe. This will show how well countries perform in the rule of law
The rule of law score given to each country comes from the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index. This is based on five important indicators of economic and social development: GDP per capita, child mortality, homicide rates, corruption, and life expectancy.
LexisNexis’s Rule of Law Impact Tracker shows us several things relating to those indicators. For example, with child mortality, a higher rule of law score correlates with fewer deaths. The impact of advancing the Rule of Law is easily quantifiable. For example, a 10% increase in the rule of law mean score over a decade correlates with other positive changes in social and economic indicators:
- GDP per capita going up by about $7,000 per person;
- Child mortality rates declining from 24 to 16 deaths per 1,000 live births;
- Crime going down by more than 30%; and
- Average life expectancy increasing by more than two years.
In short, Countries with stronger rule of law scores perform better in measures of life expectancy, civil liberty and happiness.
Helping with products and services
At Lexis Nexis we are working to advance the Rule of Law around the world and in New Zealand by providing products and services that enable customers to excel in the practice and business of law and help justice systems, governments and businesses to function effectively, efficiently and transparently.
But tracking the impact of the Rule of Law is just one part of LexisNexis’ projects using ground-breaking technology and tools to make a positive contribution to our community.
RightsApp is a world-first mobile app that is a free, quick reference guide to international human rights law. With a search function allowing users to find relevant documents, the app contains the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ten more major international human rights treaties and agreements, as well as information on signatories and the relevant UN committee comments.
It is available for free on the App Store. Providing people access to information about their rights is crucial in empowering them. Understanding your rights is the first step towards claiming those rights.
Created specifically for the New Zealand community, LexisNexis Practical Guidance: Social Justice is a free product aimed at offering information and guidance for individuals who are unable to afford a lawyer, wish to represent themselves in court, or better understand their rights in New Zealand.
LexisNexis is promoting the use of the product within the community, allowing the general public access to free legal information.
Andy Boss, General Manager, LexisNexis NZ Ltd. said, “[LexisNexis] Practical Guidance: Social Justice module will be a helpful tool for anyone living and working in New Zealand.”
“Practical Guidance: Social Justice provides a valuable resource for people not versed in the New Zealand legal system.
Content for the module was created by legal professionals and legally trained authors who are passionate about social justice, to help the user better understand their rights and gain knowledge to stand for themselves,” said Ekaterina Zamyatina, Practical Content Developer, LexisNexis NZ Ltd. (pictured).
Andy Boss understands the benefits of both LexisNexis’ staff and customers putting power in the hands of the people. “At LexisNexis, we are passionate about breaking down barriers to make the law more understandable and accessible to the general public.”
* *If you would like to find out more about this project, please email Kumi Sharma at [email protected]