LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation – June 9, 2020: Statement on Recent Events

Many people have been appalled by recent events that have taken place in the US and they have taken on such significance that the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation felt it important to add its perspective.

The killing of George Floyd by Police in Minneapolis shocked everyone and has been the spur for even more focus on the question of Racism which still sadly affects society. The Rule of Law Foundation stands squarely behind the calls for equality for all, in the knowledge that it aligns absolutely with the mission of the Foundation.

The four elements of the Rule of Law advanced by the Foundation are:

  • Equality under the law,

  • Access to the law,

  • Independent (and consequently unbiased) judiciary, and

  • Access to remedy

Accordingly, the Rule of Law requires, even demands, equality under the law. It requires the opportunity to remedy grievances before an impartial judiciary. We support these aims.

From the evidence we have put together, the foundations of a strong society are built on the strong foundations of the Rule of Law. Without the Rule of Law all kinds of socio-economic measures suffer. When they suffer badly enough, society itself collapses. So the efforts of the Foundation are geared towards advancing the Rule of Law for every member of society, in all societies, around the world to enable equality of treatment regardless of race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, age, disability or social background.

Until recently, our efforts in the United States had focused on the fight against Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery. We helped to create and drive the implementation of Model Laws on Human Trafficking in the United States. For more than a decade, LexisNexis and its talented and dedicated employees have made the advancement of the rule of law its collective mission and vision.  Efforts have ranged from securing the chain of custody in photos and videos which are used by bystanders as evidence in a court of law, to bringing the laws and courts to people in rural societies.

Within the United States, we’ve supported the promotion of awareness to recognize a lack in the protections of the law for vulnerable people who were experiencing human trafficking.  Analyzing laws and working with elected officials, lawyers and NGOs to change the laws to the better, allowing people across the United States who had been disempowered to gain back their freedom, their dignity and their future.

But we have also repeatedly stated in all of our public comments that there is almost no country in the world that can claim to have mastered the Rule of Law; the Rule of Law remains under threat all around the world. Both the absence of democracy, and populist democracy can represent threats to the Rule of Law.

Under the Rule of Law Index published by the World Justice Project, the United States is ranked 21st in the world. That means there is clearly room for improvement. The Foundation stands ready to assist in matters such as creating better access to, and supervision of, the Court system through the use of technology. To advocating for the support of Pro-Bono and other technological initiatives to allow access to remedy. Supporting Judicial Training. Creating materials and training for law enforcement agencies to become better informed about the issues they have to deal with.

We, like many, have been appalled by recent events but that is clearly not enough. We support initiatives to advance equality because it is what the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation stands for; equality of treatment before transparent laws which are administered by an independent judiciary enabling access to remedy for everyone who is affected. We ask for the support of everyone, and particularly the business community, to help us drive progress in the rule of law. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it is in all of our interests to do so.