U.S. lags in access to civil justice

A new world-wide look at the rule of law ranks the United States in last place among similar countries in the category of access to civil justice.

The report, the Rule of Law Index 2010, examines 35 countries according to 10 dimensions of the rule of law, including absence of corruption, order and security, fundamental rights and open government.

For one of those dimensions—access to civil justice—the U.S. is ranked last when compared with other “high-income” countries, including Canada, Singapore, France and South Korea, and when compared with other countries in North America and Western Europe.

The report lists eight sub-factors which make up the dimension of access to civil justice, including whether people can access and afford legal counsel in civil disputes and whether civil courts are accessible and affordable.

The report was released on October 14 by the World Justice Project, which is sponsored by a variety of groups from around the world, including the American Bar Association. William H. Neukom, president of the ABA from 2008-2009, is president and CEO of the World Justice Project.

Download the report. (  4mb)

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