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At LexisNexis we are a keen advocate of the Rule of Law and our fundamental purpose as a company is to ‘advance the rule of law around the globe’. Following the recent launch of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation and our latest LexChat podcast with James Harper, LexisNexis executive sponsor for the Rule of Law, this article takes a deeper dive into what the Rule of Law is and why it’s important.
There are many different definitions for the Rule of Law, whether that is between nations or legal traditions. One of the most common is the definitions in the UK was outlined by Professor A V Dicey in 1885 who broke it down into three concepts:
In line with Dicey’s definition, LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation has outlined an easy memorable definition...
Opening up the Rule of Law Equation further, to LexisNexis the Rule of Law consists of four essential components:
As mentioned above, advancing the Rule of Law is LexisNexis fundamental purpose as a company—spreading the protections set out above to all people is essential for the improvement of individuals’ lives and society. It is also necessary to ensure commercial viability and success, in the UK and around the world.
The Rule of Law can be seen as the foundation of all other rights, and, without rights, nothing else works. For example, without the Rule of Law:
Therefore, the rule of law is not just ‘nice to have’, but a necessity for business to exist and succeed.
Here at LexisNexis, we created the Rule of Law Impact Tracker to outline the reasons for the necessity of the Rule of Law. The Tracker evidences a direct correlation between the rule of law and the growth of per capita GDP—as well as this the absence of the rule of law leads to economic slow-down, stagnation and decline.
As James Harper outlined in our LexChat podcast: ‘The more the Rule of Law is advanced around the world, bringing people within the umbrella of its protection, the more economies prosper and grow, creating a virtuous circle…Prosperous and growing economies lead to stable markets [and] stable markets lead to greater business opportunity.’
As a profit-making organisation, LexisNexis craves stable markets and increased opportunity. And, as we grow our business, the larger the opportunity is for us to support initiatives which advance the rule of law.
Due to the nature of LexisNexis products and services, we have the opportunity to create real change around the world. However, every business can contribute to the growth of the rule of law through their own practices and by utilising the simple strategy we follow:
1. How can we use the assets that we have as a business?
2. How can we work with and support carefully selected partners?
By using this approach any business can support the Rule of Law and make a real difference, without necessarily making new funds available but by leveraging existing assets in new ways.
More examples of what companies are doing to advance the Rule of Law can be found in the Business for the Rule of Law Framework.
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Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.
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