Rule of Law

The concept of the Rule of Law is fundamental to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, SDG 16 aspires to "promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels." The Rule of Law is a foundation for all these aims.

The Rule of Law represents a principle of governance that all persons, institutions, entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated. In the context of SDGs, the Rule of Law ensures equitable access to justice (SDG 16.3), strengthens corruption-free institutions (SDG 16.5), and nurtures peaceful societies (SDG 16.1).

Equal access to justice under the Rule of Law is central to reducing inequalities (SDG 10) and ensuring no one is left behind. It safeguards individuals' rights, including those of vulnerable groups like women, children, and marginalized communities, facilitating their access to basic services and protection, thereby helping achieve goals related to poverty eradication (SDG 1), good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), and gender equality (SDG 5).

The Rule of Law is also intrinsic to building effective, accountable institutions (SDG 16.6). These institutions play a pivotal role in providing public services, managing public resources, and upholding civil rights. When corruption, bribery, theft, and tax evasion are substantially reduced (SDG 16.5), resources can be appropriately allocated to support sustainable development initiatives.

Moreover, peaceful societies, a primary aim of SDG 16, are facilitated by the Rule of Law. A society where laws are respected and fairly applied fosters an environment of security and stability. It deters violent conflict, promotes human rights, and encourages social and economic development.

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations annual climate change conference. COP stands for Conference of the Parties. Parties are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU). The 2021 conference, hosted by the UK, together with our partners Italy, in Glasgow, will be the 26th meeting of the Parties, which is why it's called COP26.

This Practice Note covers the main pillars of access to justice in environmental matters in the UK under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention). Access to justice and the ability to effectively challenge environmental decisions are key to SDG 16.
In this webinar, panelists explore the “state of the union” of the Rule of Law in the UK and consider what can be done to drive public attention and protection. They also discuss whether the Law requires a rebrand, whether it is seen in the same light by all people, and what (or who) might drive the change sought. This webinar contributes to SDG 16.
Elsevier,

The Impacts of Climate Change, A Comprehensive Study of Physical, Biophysical, Social, and Political Issues, 2021, Pages 521-535

This book chapter addresses SDG 11 and 13 by explaining some of the ways that climate change impacts are evaluated in integrated assessment models (IAMs).
The nature of armed conflict throughout the world is intensely dynamic. Consequently, the protection of non-combatants and the provision of humanitarian services must continually adapt to this changing conflict environment. Complex political affiliations, the systematic use of explosive weapons and sexual violence, and the use of new communication technology, including social media, have created new challenges for humanitarian actors in negotiating access to affected populations and security for their own personnel.
In this conversation of the “World We Want” podcast series, RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, talks to Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu about leadership.
Women and children bear substantial morbidity and mortality as a result of armed conflicts. This Series paper focuses on the direct (due to violence) and indirect health effects of armed conflict on women and children (including adolescents) worldwide. We estimate that nearly 36 million children and 16 million women were displaced in 2017, on the basis of international databases of refugees and internally displaced populations.
Scene from South-East Asia, woman walking past a building
LexisNexis Legal & Professional has created a rule of law impact tracker using a range of data sets. The rule of law impact tracker is an interactive tool which quantifies the relationship between the rule of law and social and economic development. The rule of law plays a vital part in underpinning all of the SDGs and in particular the targets of SDG 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Elsevier,

Forensic Science International: Reports, Volume 2, December 2020, 100121

Contributing to SDGs 3, 5 and 16, this paper examines the demographic profile of female victims with intellectual disablities who were sexually assaulted and the characteristics of sexual assault.
In this brief perspective piece, a rural sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program is described in the hopes that dissemination will lead to increased numbers of rural SANEs, increased reporting of sexual assaults in rural and underserved communities, increased prosecution rates of sexual assault perpetrators, and program sustainability through the provision of a nurse-centered approach to training and support. This article contributes SDGs 3, 5, 9, and 16.

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