The World Justice Challenge 2021: Advancing the Rule of Law in a Time of Crisis is a global competition to identify, recognize, and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law in this time of unprecedented crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic strikes in the midst of a global rule of law crisis in which respect for key principles of good governance has been eroding in many countries for a number of years. These twin crises of public health and rule of law make this pandemic particularly dangerous. 

Identifying and promoting good practices and promising approaches are essential to addressing the crisis' underlying governance challenges, supporting an effective recovery process, and building back better rule of law based societies.

The World Justice Challenge 2021: Advancing the Rule of Law in a Time of Crisis seeks to further these efforts.

  • Cash awards ($20,000 USD) will go to six projects that show demonstrable results and promising prospects for future progress, replication, and scaling.

  • Finalist projects are profiled on this website, will be featured in Regional Showcase events, and are available to answer questions and discuss their projects on the World Justice Challenge Community Forum.

  • Five winners will be chosen by a committee of experienced judges. One of these winners will receive the World Justice Project's first-ever Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy Prize, to be awarded to the Challenge finalist project that best exemplifies the fight against inequality and gender-based discrimination.

  • One winner will be selected by popular vote by WJP’s network for its inspiration and impact.


Meet the Winners



The Challenge

To protect the rule of law from urgent threats generated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and to recover and rebuild the rule of law over the long term.


The Goal

To support and accelerate the dissemination of high-quality rule of law projects and policies, and encourage their uptake by policymakers and rule of law stakeholders.






Join the Community Forum and Vote

The World Justice Challenge 2021 Community Forum is an online space to exchange knowledge, raise awareness, and drive action on rule of law issues and solutions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join the community to engage directly with finalist projects, share knowledge, and vote in the Network Popular Vote.


Sign Up


Finalists Regional Showcase


This year, the World Justice Project received over 425 submissions from 114 countries. From these 425 submissions, 30 finalists were selected to take part in an online regional showcase event.

Over the course of a month, WJP and its partners hosted four regional showcase events. The events featured an assessment by WJP's regional partners of the efforts underway in countries of the region to "build back better" from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in four areas—access to justice for all, accountable governance, fundamental rights and non-discrimination, and anti-corruption and open government.

Subscribe to WJP's e-newsletter for further competition updates and invitations.


Watch Event Recordings

Past Winners & Finalists


In 2019, the World Justice Project organized the World Justice Challenge around the theme of Access to Justice Solutions. The objective was to identify and promote good practices and successful solutions that would help narrow the justice gap for everyday legal problems. WJP received over 250 applications and selected 30 finalists to present their projects at the World Justice Forum 2019, which took place from April 29 to May 3, 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands.


Explore Past Winners & Finalists



Send us an email at [email protected] with questions, comments, and feedback. Thank you!


Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners

World Justice Challenge sponsors and partners

Thank You to Our Individual Sponsors

Nancy Ward and Toby Bright

Sally and Bill Neukom

John Walsh