Rule of Law Project

Rule of Law Project

Justicia, justice. by Vicente Villamón / BY CC
Justicia, justice. by Vicente Villamón / BY CC

The goal of the Rule of Law Project was to develop cross-national measures of the extent to which a law-based order has been institutionalized. The project was conceived and supervised by Peter F. Nardulli and was a multi-year effort that compiled historical data on legal periodicals (1773 -) and legal education programs (1100 -).  Using this data, along with constitutional measures from the Comparative Constitutions Project, a couple of indices were produced that can be used to estimate a countries legal order and legal infrastructure over time.   The manner in which these data were collected and integrated was later reported in the inaugural issue of Journal of Law and Courts which is mentioned below. 

The data produced from these efforts can also be obtained using the links below.

Conceptualizing and Measuring Rule of Law Constructs - Journal of Law and Courts, Vol. 1, No. 1, March 2013

This article outlines an effort to gauge cross-national and intertemporal differences in law-based orders for 165 nations from 1850 to 2010. Despite the increasing importance attributed to “the rule of law,” there have been few efforts to develop objective measures of it. The conceptual foundations for this effort rest on a review of centuries of scholarship concerning the societal utility of law. Data are drawn from a variety of sources to create two composite measures. The derivation of these measures is reported and the measures are examined to determine whether they present reinforcing profiles of a country's legal order.