Looking across the global landscape today, it’s not hard to see the serious and often severe challenges facing society, particularly for the four billion people living outside the umbrella protection of the rule of law.
As a company, the LexisNexis core mission to advance the rule of law in emerging and developed nations is bringing transparency to laws, furthering human rights, and strengthening judiciaries so people in those nations can better access justice, making LexisNexis a model for other corporations.
A stronger rule of law results in equality and accountability under the law and clear and transparent laws, which typically equate to a higher GDP per capita, higher life expectancy and lower child mortality, lower homicide, and lower corruption rates.
One way to advance the rule of law is by extending relevant resources to enable local communities and developing nations to gain access to legal materials and guidelines, which in turn allows for the effective administration of the law. LexisNexis supports corporate citizenship initiatives and partners with organisations to increase the efficiency and transparency of justice, working at home and abroad.
In Australia, LexisNexis has worked to create legal resources for the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Pro Bono Centre, as well as partnering with the National Association of Community Legal Centres to provide high quality, contemporary online legal resources. A complimentary Practical Guidance Social Justice Pacific module has also been made publicly available to help combat human trafficking and human rights violations nationally.
The Australian team is also dedicated to advancing the rule of law across the Asia Pacific region through a comprehensive program to increase access to justice and protect human rights.
In April, 2017 a team of legal professionals from Australia, Japan and Myanmar were brought together to roll out Juris Pilot. As members of LexisNexis’ network, the initiative aimed to educate the lawyers of the Myanmar Attorney General’s office in how to carry out international contract negotiations.
The team taught a curriculum over two days that was delivered to more than fifty public prosecutors, covering topics such as drafting contracts and understanding key clauses, and tips and traps in the negotiation of contracts.
In Fiji, LexisNexis worked with the EU’s Access to Justice program and the Fijian Solicitor General’s Office to revive the Fiji Law Reports. Law reports are essential for the functioning of a strong legal system and had been published in Fiji since 1876. However, the reports ceased to be published in 2001 following political instability.
The team started by reviving the reports from the year of 2012, and subsequently completed the reports from 2002 and 2003. The publication of the law reports for the years 2004-2007 is an ongoing effort, with the goal of publishing the volumes before the end of 2017.
Within the APAC region, LexisNexis has also been involved in initiatives including the publication of Papua New Guinean legal texts, the Maldivian law reports, and the biannual Advancing Together journal.
Globally, LexisNexis has been a driving force behind the United Nations Global Compact’s Business for the Rule of Law Framework that helps businesses take proactive voluntary action to advance the rule of law.
To support this framework, LexisNexis used its own data and analytics resources to create a Rule of Law Impact Tracker. This is an interactive awareness tool that uses the best available data from the World Bank, Transparency International, and the World Justice Project to explore and make transparent the relationship between the rule of law and social and economic development.
As an example, it is possible to estimate that a 10% increase in the Rule of Law mean score would result in a rise in GDP per capita of about $7,000 per person, crime going down by more than 30%, and average life expectancy increasing by more than two years.
In recognition of these efforts, LexisNexis has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner in The Australian Business Awards 2017 for Community Contribution. This award recognises organisations that implement initiatives that have a positive impact on the community and generate outcomes that have a long term benefit.
This award affirms the commitment of LexisNexis staff in contributing to the advancement of the rule of law locally and in the region and follows another great achievement for LexisNexis of being recognised in the CSR Top 10 by the Australian Centre of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Using our resources and expertise to directly affect society in a positive way inspires our employees to think innovatively and with a sense of purpose in their everyday work. Our commitment to innovation is not only driven by commercial imperatives but a desire to create real change around the world.