Rule of Law Index

The World Justice Forum meeting in Vienna, Austria has just released the Rule of Law Index. The Index uses numerical indicators to gauge the strength of rule of law in 35 countries, including developed and developing countries.

Here are the 4 broad criteria , with sub-categories, used to create the scores  for each country. It includes compliance with international law.

1. Accountable Government

Government powers limited by constitution

Governmental and non‐governmental checks

Accountable government officials and agents

Accountable military, police, and prison officials

Compliance with international law

 

2. Publicized and stable laws that protect fundamental rights

Laws are clear, publicized and stable

Laws protect fundamental rights

Laws protect security of the person

Laws protect security of property

3. Accessible, fair, and efficient process

Accessible process

Fair and efficient administration

 

4. Access to Justice

Impartial and accountable judicial system  

Efficient, accessible and effective judicial system

Competent and independent attorneys or representatives

Fair and efficient alternative dispute resolution

Rule of Law Index 2009

http://www.abajournal.com/files/WJP_RuleOfLawIndex.pdf

Bibliographies of Legal Literature from Latin America

Over the past few years, The Latin American and Caribbean Journal of Legal Studies has published  annotated bibilographies of legal literature from a number of Latin American countries. Bibliographies exist for Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.   The bibliogaphies are written by prominent jurists and professors from the U.S. and the region.

Latin American and Caribbean Journal of Legal Studies

http://services.bepress.com/lacjls/

New Bolivian Constitution

Bolivian voters approved a new constitution in a national referendum on Sunday, January 25. This constitution should be of interest to students of Latin American law, indigenous rights, minority language rights, and sustainable development law.

Full-text (Spanish)  of the new Constitution can be found here:

http://www.cne.org.bo/proces_electoral/RefConstitucion2009/documentos/TextoCPE.pdf

http://www.cne.org.bo/proces_electoral/RefConstitucion2009/textos.aspx

New York Times article on the constitutional referendum:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/world/americas/26bolivia.html?ref=world

South American Union of Nations

On May 23, 2008, 12 South American countries signed a treaty creating the South American Union of Nations. Although no formal institutions are functioning at this time, the treaty does envision a Secretariat in Quito, Ecuador (article 10)  and a Parliament in Cochabamba, Bolivia (article 17). It will be interesting to see what documents are produced by this new transnational body and how it affects Mercosur and the Andean Community. The nations involved are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uriguay and Venezuela. The South American Union of Nations Constitutive Treaty is available in English, Spanish, Portuguee and Dutch from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Realtions: http://www.mre.gov.br/portugues/imprensa/nota_detalhe3.asp?ID_RELEASE=5466