World Justice Project

By Joanne Lu

Ema Tapullima, the leader of the Amazon village Puerto Prado in Peru, wants future generations to be able to benefit from the native medicinal plants and animals in the rainforest that she grew up with.
Photo credit: Deborah Espinosa/WJP

Rule of law is the cornerstone of society. Though it’s not recognized, understood or appreciated enough, according to the World Justice Project, it is essential for development and human rights.

Bill Neukom, Microsoft’s first general counsel, was the president of the American Bar Association when he founded the World Justice Project in 2006. It began as a presidential initiative and evolved after his tenure into the independent nonprofit it is today, with offices in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Singapore and Mexico City.

The idea for the organization sprang from Neukom’s growing appreciation for rule of law as he traveled around the world for Microsoft and saw firsthand how important it was for development. Yet, not many people were working to promote it. There wasn’t even a clear definition for the term, as many people used it to mean many different things. Read More