Americans Have Less Access to Justice than Botswanans … And Are More Abused By Police than Kazakhstanis

George Washington's picture

Justice is a key value for Americans.

After all, one of our key mottoes is:

“Liberty and justice for all”.

But the World Justice Project – a bipartisan, independent group with honorary chairs including Supreme Court Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsberg and O’Connor – just released a report saying that Americans have less access to justice than most wealthy countries …  and many developing nations.

The group’s “World Justice Index” ranks countries’ faithfulness to the rule of law based upon 9 factors (we’re paraphrasing so that they’re easier to  understand):

1. Whether there are checks and balances on the power of government officials


2. Absence of corruption


3. Order and security


4. Due process, freedom of speech and other fundamental rights,


5. Transparency of government operation


6. Due process in regulatory enforcement


7.  Access to civil justice


8. Access to criminal justice


9. Availability of informal dispute resolution systems

Among high-income countries, the U.S. ranked near the bottom in access to civil justice … behind Estonia, United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic and other countries:


Access Civil Justice High Income Americans Have Less Access to Justice than Botswanans ... And Are More Abused By Police than Kazakhstanis


For example, Germans sue equally whether they are rich or poor  … but in America, only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system:


Germany v US Americans Have Less Access to Justice than Botswanans ... And Are More Abused By Police than Kazakhstanis


Indeed, the report ranks developing countries such as Botswana and the former Soviet nation of Georgia as having more access to the civil justice system than the U.S.

Americans have experienced more unfair physical abuse by  police than in Kazahkstan, Russia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Romania and other countries:


Police Abuse Americans Have Less Access to Justice than Botswanans ... And Are More Abused By Police than Kazakhstanis


When compared to other countries in North America and Western Europe, the U.S. ranked third to last in checks and balances on the power of government officials and absence of corruption, and second to last in protection of due process, freedom of speech and other fundamental rights, access to civil justice, and access to criminal justice:


US Ranking Americans Have Less Access to Justice than Botswanans ... And Are More Abused By Police than Kazakhstanis The

World Justice Project is not alone in this assessment.

As we pointed out in July:

Economic historian Niall Ferguson notes:

The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index and, in particular, the Executive Opinion Survey on which it’s partly based … includes 15 measures of the rule of law, ranging from the protection of private property rights to the policing of corruption and the control of organised crime.


It’s an astonishing yet scarcely acknowledged fact that on no fewer than 15 out of 15, the United States now fares markedly worse than Hong Kong. In the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom Index, too, the U.S. ranks 21st in the world in terms of freedom from corruption, a considerable distance behind Hong Kong and Singapore.  [Transparency International puts the U.S. at 24th.]


Perhaps the most compelling evidence of all comes from the World Bank’s Indicators on World Governance, which suggest that, since 1996, the United States has suffered a decline in the quality of its governance in three different dimensions: government effectiveness, regulatory quality and the control of corruption.


Compared with Germany or Hong Kong, the U.S. is manifestly slipping behind.

Indeed – as we’ve extensively documented – the rule of law is now as weak in the U.S. and UK as many countries which we would consider “rogue nations”.    See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.


This is a sudden change.  As famed Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto notes:

In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible.

Given that a country’s economic health is correlated with a strong rule of law more than any other factor, that lawlessness in America is even more epidemic than the World Justice Project indicates – look here and here – and that 2 U.S. supreme court justices have warned of dictatorship … we’re in real trouble.

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Essential Nexus's picture

You used the 2011 report, why not the 2012 report that is now available?

George Washington's picture

I looked for 2012, and the link I tried didn't work.  Is it up now?

ebworthen's picture

My Ex.'s door was kicked in by the local Police after they knocked and waited 30 seconds. 

She was on her way down the stairs to open it (late at night) when they kicked it in.

No warrant, no replacement costs for the door or locks, and of course no apology.

Mark Noonan's picture

Could it be because we have the lion's share of the world's laywers?  Nah, it couldn't be lawyer would ever want to gum up the workings of justice just to ensure larger paychecks for lawyers...

GernB's picture

Um, so if more rich people are sueing more often than poor is that a sign of that the poor have less access to legal action, or a sign they have less need for legal action?

Abrick's picture

Um, so if more rich people are utilizing the services of $1000 a night hookers, is that a sign that the poor have less access to rimjobs or a sign that they have less of a need for rimjobs?

laomei's picture

With money you can afford lawyers.  With lawyers you can drag out a case forever, appeal forever and hunt down every court case out there to see if it can be twisted to meet your needs.  Sure, if you win you'll be getting your legal fees paid for, but until that point is reached it's all on you.  Meanwhile the side that doesn't care can and will do everything they can to destroy your life if you continue to try and persue it.


Then if you are actually about to maybe win, they'll come to your saint of a lawyer and flat out tell them they will drag it out for a decade and the end result will be a small settlement with no admission of fault.  The end.  Oh, and it will be confidential and any mention of the settlement will void it and then they get to sue you and claim damages and you just might as well hang yourself.

Dr. Sandi's picture

You obviously haven't laid down 60 kilobux for an attorney to help you retrieve what was rightfully yours.

Cole Younger's picture

Hey GW...Why don't you look up Marc Stevens..He will tell you how the judicial system works and how to beat it...His legal theory is interesting..

SmittyinLA's picture

I wonder how many countries elected illegal aliens to public office (LA County Assessor John Noguez, not Obama) or let illegal aliens vote? 


None sans US 

Dr. Sandi's picture

I'm more than willing to give an 'illegal alien' a shot at governing. Especially as I watch the slow motion cluster fuck that's energized by the 'legal aliens' currently governing this former 'bulwark of freedom'.

are we there yet's picture

Most of us over a typical day are recorded on much over a dozen security cameras at building entrances, banks, shopping malls, convienience stores, traffic cameras, etc.  This blog and most internet traffice is copied and archived in a western US federal facility. Can not fight it, it is technology. All government branches are gaining more sweeping powers, and getting bigger. Big government creates problems that needs an even bigger government to fix that cause ever more problems.  It is a feedback loop whose purpose is to suck up all of the economy that it can into the centrally controlled government sector. Ever growing, without restraint, until it runs on borrowed emptiness.

Blue Dog's picture

The statements are ridiculous. It's typical from this writer. A lot of wild claims with nothing to back them up. Worst writer on ZH.

mvsjcl's picture

Your fleas have infiltrated your cranial cavity. Go ahead and scratch.

Savyindallas's picture

and you are the biggest dumbass  -once again GW is right on.

I am Jobe's picture

Wait , USSA enforces Human Rights, yeap, forget about in their own backyard. WTF, Amerika is a clusterfuck now and for years to come. Unleash the fucking drones to decide.

Sextus Empiricus's picture

I bet it involves bombs/covert operations/spies... some combination of the three. 

Golly gee, I wonder why the hate us so much?  It must be our "freedoms" that we don't have.

mrks's picture

Yeah, about that report...

Living in one of the the top-10 (overall) ranked countries and working on a law degree for a couple years now, I'm not sure whose ass they pulled out their numbers. When I first read about it in the local news, my spontaneous reaction was laughing so hard, I nearly choked.

Rule of law has become nothing but a sad joke, no matter where you look. In the US, in Europe... The rest of the world, where it never was anything but a joke. The more you know about it, the worse you think the state of affairs is. And it's just getting worse every single day. Hey, it's just like economics!

And if you happen to know quite a bit about economics and law... it's only a matter of time before you seriously start to think about going Galt.

Sextus Empiricus's picture

Rule of law... conveniently always someone else's laws, who live far far away.

ehildret's picture

re: the first chart, my first thought is- those countries (govt) nearer the left seem more honest... those countries (govt) nearer the right are less honest... I'm moving to the right....

CH1's picture

it's only a matter of time before you seriously start to think about going Galt.

It's PAST time to consider going Galt.

TruthInSunshine's picture

At least the 2012 NDAA might be challenged on various constitutional grounds, according to a strict scrutiny litmus test, assuming a not-yet-killed-by-hellfire-missile-fired-from-a-drone American Citizen on American terra firma who has been designated as an enemy combatant without one iota of judicial due process can successfully defeat the affirmative defense that his/her petition is not yet judicially "ripe" since they haven't been terminated as of yet (even though the fact they have been so designated for termination is highly classified, so they couldn't possibly suspect this until the hellfire strikes their person, rendering them dead instantaneously, and they won't therefore have ample time to surmise any of this nor petition the courts for redress).

Sextus Empiricus's picture

I'm not so much worried about the NDAA in my generation... but decades from now?  It's always incrementalism.  You introduce a concept to a generation to test it out, and then the next generation is when you really get 'er done.

BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

But but...That is the price of Freedom

I am on to you's picture

Sir, you might confuse ,murder lies and theft,with freedom,wont work,remember, Obommer got this price,Killer in Romance to learn others about freedom,sadly he dont know whats its about!

The Eumerican meening of the word freedom,meens enslavement to everyone else,so one womans/mans freedom,meens another womans /mans enslavement?This is not 50 BC,we live in 2012 BC,if your a beliver,to me we just live,in what ever year this planet was created at,but still bangs the chest?Arabspring?Try this one:Euromed=HomoTechnoEurectorato, Barcelona 1995,rejoyced by E,Barak and Y,Arrafat,Gaddafi got on later but got Sticked.

Now we are about fraud,Quriosity,Nasa stunt took a selfportrait,even of the camera?Who took the picture,ill call that speed,upgraded to Meth!

If ,YOU belive,they put a man on the Moon!

Beside, freedom dont have a price,since we all are born free!


George Washington's picture

Dear sir,

America has trademarked the term "FREEDOM" ... your continued use of our trademarked term without recognition of our ownership constitutes trademark infringement.

In the future, please recognize our trademark ownership thusly:

Freedom TM


George Washington's picture

True, but the term "trademark" is the umbrella term which includes both tm and sm ... and also

Freedom Fries! TM

Wakanda's picture

I'm all about sweet potato fries, regular fries, french fries, Freedom fries - they all sound good to me.  Maybe with some beer.

The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, but I kinda like acknowleding the S&M inherent in our New & Improved FreedomSM.

Whoa Black Barry's picture

If you truly believe Americans are more oppressed than Kazakhs then you are a fool. Probably a no-passport, never left the USA kind of cretin. Junk away assholes.

Treason Season's picture

What's this bbc, buttfucking boys' corpses?

AurorusBorealus's picture

You have obviously never left the U.S. if you do not realize that travel to and from the U.S. is more difficult than any country in the world with the exceptions of North Korea and Cuba.   In fact, transportation security guards have apologized to me for searching me on flights to the U.S., explaining that they do not wish to do this but the U.S. TSA requires that such searches be conducted.  Needless to say, I have never had a TSA agent apologize for anything.  At the same time, I have been harassed more by American police on the roadways than by police in any other country (and Latin American police specialize in harassing motorists on the roadways).

CH1's picture

I have passports that are covered with stamps end-to-end, and I can tell you that the US government is arrogant beyond measure. The one thing they excel at is making their serfs believe that they have anything resembling freedom.

The Kazakhs see reality FAR more clearly than my fellow gringos.

Jefferson would disown the lot of them.

boogerbently's picture

They survive by reminding us of a tradition they have no intention of upholding.

George Washington's picture

Dear brain surgeon,

Usually traveling makes people MORE realistic about how other cultures compare, not LESS ...

So people who have traveled alot should be less prone to falling for the jingoism of any particular country, and should focus on how people are actually TREATED ... they might also actually READ results from non-partisan surveys, instead of listening to what Dear Leader TELLS them ...

TruthInSunshine's picture

Kazakhstan greatest country in the world.
All other countries are run by little girls.
Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium.
Other countries have inferior potassium.

Kazakhstan home of Tinshein swimming pool.
It’s length thirty meter and width six meter.
Filtration system a marvel to behold.
It remove 80 percent of human solid waste.

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.
From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.***
Kazakhstan friend of all except Uzbekistan.
They very nosey people with bone in their brain.

Kazakhstan industry best in the world.
We invented toffee and trouser belt.
Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region.
Except of course Turkmenistan’s

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.
From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.***
Come grasp the might phenis of our leader.
From junction with the testes to tip of its face!



***Abe Foxman of the ADL, please don't harrass me, bro, because I didn't write the lyrics & I'm pretty sure it's comedy/fiction. Shalom.

Whoa Black Barry's picture

Very funny post dickhead. The last KZ business contact I had wouldn't walk down the street in London in case the fucking crazy despot criminal who runs that county had someone in town to kill him.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Why so serious, bro?

You need more potassium in your diet.

I don't run Kazikhstan or Barter Town.

williambanzai7's picture

Yet our government remains delusionally obsessed with lecturing the rest of the world on these matters.

Wakanda's picture

"our govenment"?

Aren't you in HK?

TrustWho's picture

...and we sent boys, mostly, to do nation building. They died for what? For a sick kleptocracy that feeds and manipulates its middle class?

The Alarmist's picture

You're kidding, right? A country with so many police, lawyers, and convicts in prison has less justice? Say it ain't so, Geo.

willwork4food's picture

No need to worry if you get arrested for stepping out of your designated anti-government, anti -military, anti -Obama, anti -Congress, pro-they're all fucking parasitic cocksuckers- that should be hanged, protest zone.

All you need to do is call your lawyer to get the misunderstanding dismissed.

Oh wait..