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Director James C.

Duff July 16, 2018


Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO)
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, D.C. 20544

Dear Director Duff:

Earlier this evening I spoke with David Sellers, a nonlawyer in the AO. Mr. Sellers was horrible.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley.

Mr. Sellers refused to provide an email address for you, or for your office, or for the general
counsel of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Sellers said the AO does not
have an email address for Service of Court Documents. Sellers also falsely accused me of
making phone calls requiring a security response. Mr. Duff, all my telephone calls are recorded
for quality assurance purposes. Those recordings can impeach Mr. Sellers’ falsehoods if needed.

Mr. Sellers refused to provide the information I requested, and slammed down the phone.

Enclosed is my email to you earlier today. The email address provided by your staff was wrong.
Your staff often provide bad information when I call on the telephone. That is one reason I rather
send email. Another reason is a disability accommodation. And to avoid the likes of Mr. Sellers.

A week or two ago I sent you a message on the AO’s response form found here, but got no reply.
http://www.uscourts.gov/contact-us

Since January 31, 2018 I have contacted the AO for information on pro se litigants to no avail.
U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner decided to retire because of conflicts with his colleagues
over the treatment of pro se litigants. Judge Posner contends “...most judges regard these people
as kind of trash not worth the time of a federal judge.” I believe that you, Mr. Sellers, and the
AO also regard pro se litigants as trash not worth the time of the AO or of the federal courts.

On February 24, 2018 I emailed you and Deputy Director Jill C. Sayenga concerning my FOIA
to Jackie Koszczuk. My email to you bounced for a bad address. Mr. Sellers said Jill Sayenga is
gone from the AO. Sellers also said that the federal judiciary is not subject to the FOIA. Well, it
took 7 months to FINALLY get that information from the AO. The Reporters Committee for the
Freedom of Press (RCFP) contends “The federal courts are not subject to FOIA, though court
records are generally still accessible under common law and First Amendment rights of access.”
The article is enclosed. I reiterate my request under the First Amendment and common law.

Earlier today I emailed the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office (JDAO), copy enclosed. In part I
wrote, but got no response or acknowledgment from the JDAO.

For the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) I requested:

1. What is the annual budget of the USSC?


2. How many persons are employed by the USSC?

APPENDIX B
Director James C. Duff July 16, 2018
Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO)

3. How many pro se petitions for writ of certiorari are submitted to the USSC each Term?
4. How many pro se motions to proceed in forma pauperis are submitted to the USSC each Term?

[Advise] If you have the above information for the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Circuit Courts.

The email address for the data team of the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office was bad,
AOdb_JDAO_datateam@ao.uscourts.gov, as shown today on the AO website with a story
“Just the Facts: Americans with Disabilities Act”, URL,
http://www.uscourts.gov/news/2018/07/12/just-facts-americans-disabilities-act

Mr. Duff, I am a person with disabilities. I believe the AO, and the federal courts, are in
violation of federal disability law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In
my view disability discrimination is just a variation of white supremacy racism.

I suspect the AO does not want to provide the information I requested because it will show a
majority of cases, or a significant number of cases, are brought by nonlawyer pro se litigants.
As Judge Posner noted, the federal courts treat this class of litigants as “trash”.

Sincerely,

Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
Tel: 352-854-7807
Email: neilgillespie@mfi.net

VIA UPS 2nd Day Air No. 1Z64589F0296227513

Cc:
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman
Senate Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-3744
Fax: 202-224-6020

VIA UPS 2nd Day Air No. 1Z64589F0293125978

2
Page 1 of 2

Neil Gillespie

From: "Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>


To: <Director_Duff@ao.uscourts.gov>; <Director Duff@ao.uscourts.gov>
Cc: <Jill_Sayenga@ao.uscourts.gov>; "Jeffrey Atkins" <jatkins@supremecourt.gov>; <pio@supremecourt.gov>; "Neil
Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>; "Weiss, Debra Cassens" <Debra.Weiss@americanbar.org>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 11:07 AM
Subject: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552

Director James C. Duff


Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, D.C. 20544
Cc: Deputy Director Jill C. Sayenga

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552

Dear Director Duff:

On February 24, 2018 I emailed you and Deputy Director Jill C. Sayenga concerning my FOIA to which Jackie Koszczuk
did not lawfully respond. I do not show a response. Therefore, here is my FOIA restated to you:

For the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC):

1. What is the annual budget of the USSC?


2. How many persons are employed by the USSC?
3. How many pro se petitions for writ of certiorari are submitted to the USSC each Term?
4. How many pro se motions to proceed in forma pauperis are submitted to the USSC each Term?

z Provide the above information for the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Circuit Courts.
z Provide your business email address with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
z Provide an email address for service of court documents for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, so
I may provide my Petitions for Rehearing in USSC No. 17-8682 and No. 17-8689. I may challenge the USSC as
unconstitutional.

The foregoing is made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552.

The U.S. Supreme Court is the only court created by the U.S. Constitution, Article III. But after reading what U.S. Circuit
Judge Richard Posner said as reported by the ABA, I believe the SCOTUS is unconstitutional in it’s present form:
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/posner_has_absolutely_no_desire_to_join_scotus_which_isnt_a_real_court

"Well, I don’t like the Supreme Court," Posner says. "I don’t think it’s a real court. I think of it as basically …
it’s like a House of Lords. It’s a quasi-political body. President, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme
Court. It’s very political. And they decide which cases to hear, which doesn’t strike me as something judges
should do. You should take what comes. When you decide which case to hear it means you’ve decided the
cases ahead of time."

The American Bar Association Journal online reported September 11, 2017 a story by Debra Cassens Weiss, "Posner:
Most judges regard pro se litigants as 'kind of trash not worth the time'"
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/posner_most_judges_regard_pro_se_litigants_as_kind_of_trash_nor_worth_the_t/

According to the ABA story, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner "...told the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin last week that
he decided to retire because of conflicts with his colleagues over the treatment of pro se litigants, who represent
themselves. In a new interview with the New York Times, Posner elaborated on his concerns about the treatment of such
litigants."

""The basic thing is that most judges regard these people as kind of trash not worth the time of a federal judge,"
Posner said."

"In the 7th Circuit, staff lawyers review appeals from pro se litigants, and their recommendations are generally

7/16/2018
Page 2 of 2

rubber-stamped by judges, he noted."

Here in the Middle District of Florida we have a real stinker: U.S. Judge William Terrell Hodges, Senior Status, who
graduated from a racially-segregated law school.

The 2017-2018 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index Measures How Rule of Law Is Experienced by the General
Public Worldwide. The U.S.A. ranked 19th out of 113 countries. The US has the most expensive justice system in the
world, but it is ranked 19th in delivering justice. https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/wjp-rule-law-index/wjp-rule-law-
index-2017–2018

Violence in America is not the result of guns, its the result of injustice that starts at the top, with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yes, some people should not own guns, but guns are just the method. Most discussions of the Second Amendment fail to
say why it was enacted: People wanted guns to protect themselves from government tyranny. So why the surprise when
shooters use guns against the government, or its proxies? Public schools are local government. (Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School massacre). Newspapers and the press are part of the Fourth Estate of government. (Capital Gazette
shooting).

In 2012 the alleged gunman in the Capital Gazette shooting, Jarrod Warren Ramos, sued The Capital Gazette in a
defamation case he brought over a 2011 newspaper article reporting on his guilty plea for criminal harassment. Without
comment on the merits of the case, I note the appellate opinion, as quoted in the ABA on June 29, 2018, in another story
by Ms. Weiss, "Suspect in Capital Gazette shooting lost pro se case; court said he misunderstood defamation law: (The
Maryland Court of Special Appeals is not subject to the authority of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts).

"The appeals court noted that Ramos was pro se and affirmed. The appeals court wrote:

"A discussion of defamation law would be an exercise in futility, because the appellant fails to come close to
alleging a case of defamation. In his five-page brief, the appellant devotes two and one-half pages to legal argument.
He never alleges that any basic fact contained in the article about his guilty plea is actually false. He claims only that
‘Hartley’s column fails the test of fairness because he editorialized on the story’s meaning.’ There is no allegation of
any specific harm that he suffered as a result of the article. He simply described the harm as ‘incalculable,
unforeseen, and potentially unknowable.’ That does not do it."

Perhaps if the pompous appellate court had discussed defamation law in its opinion, the shooting could have been avoided.
Is that not the job of an appellate court? Perhaps Ramos, a nonlawyer appearing pro se, should have been granted leave to
submit an amended complaint. Instead, Ramos allegedly went on a shooting spree. Ramos was charged with five counts of
murder in the shooting deaths of five Capital Gazette employees.

Senate Judiciary Committee chair Grassley suggests judiciary needs an inspector general.
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/senate_judiciary_committee_chair_grassley_suggests_judiciary_needs_an_inspe/

I believe Senator Grassley is correct. The judiciary needs more oversight. It is long overdue.

I also believe the Administrative Office of the United States Courts should honor U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner
(ret) for his contribution to the law. Judge Posner is a national treasure.

Sincerely,

Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
352-854-7807
neilgillespie@mfi.net

7/16/2018
Page 1 of 1

Neil Gillespie

From: "Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>


To: <JDAO_datateam@ao.uscourts.gov>
Cc: "Neil Gillespie" <neilgillespie@mfi.net>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 9:34 AM
Subject: Judiciary Data and Analysis Office

Judiciary Data and Analysis Office


Office of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, D.C. 20544

To the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office:

For the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC):

1. What is the annual budget of the USSC?


2. How many persons are employed by the USSC?
3. How many pro se petitions for writ of certiorari are submitted to the USSC each Term?
4. How many pro se motions to proceed in forma pauperis are submitted to the USSC each Term?

If you have the above information for the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Circuit Courts, please advise.
You may consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552. Thank
you.

Sincerely,
/s/
Neil J. Gillespie
8092 SW 115th Loop
Ocala, FL 34481
352-854-7807
neilgillespie@mfi.net

"You can find out more in this new installment of Just the Facts, a feature by the Judiciary Data and
Analysis Office of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) that illuminates the work of the
federal Judiciary through data. Comments, questions, and suggestions can be sent to the data team"
http://www.uscourts.gov/news/2018/07/12/just-facts-americans-disabilities-act

7/16/2018
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/posner_has_absolutely_no_desire_to_join_scotus_which_isnt_a_real_court

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JUDICIARY

Posner has 'absolutely no desire' to join SCOTUS,


which 'isn’t a real court'
BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS (HTTP://WWW.ABAJOURNAL.COM/AUTHORS/4/)
POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2013, 11:44 AM CST
Like 1K Share Tweet Share submit

Judge Richard Posner gets a lot of attention for his opinions and his writing, but he’s not
looking to leverage his fame to join the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posner explained why he isn’t interested in an interview with the Daily Beast
(http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/07/how-i-write-richard-posner.html) about his compulsive writing
habits. “First, I’m too old,” Posner said. “I’m 74 and they don’t appoint people my age.”
The reviewer notes that Posner sounds “peppy,” spurring the Chicago-based federal
appeals judge to elaborate.
“Well, I don’t like the Supreme Court,” Posner says. “I don’t think it’s a real court. I think of
it as basically … it’s like a House of Lords. It’s a quasi-political body. President, Senate,
House of Representatives, Supreme Court. It’s very political. And they decide which cases
to hear, which doesn’t strike me as something judges should do. You should take what
comes. When you decide which case to hear it means you’ve decided the cases ahead of
time.
“Also, because I’m a compulsive writer, I like to write. … If you sit with eight other people
[like the Supreme Court] you only get one-ninth of the cases to write. I’m not interested in
that. Now the Supreme Court justices write very, very few majority opinions. Last year they
saw 74 cases. Divide that by nine and that’s a little more than eight opinions a year. That’s
ridiculous! I write around 90 opinions a year.”
Posner says Supreme Court justices do boost their totals through dissenting and
concurring opinions, but they don’t attract much interest. “I just wouldn’t enjoy the
Supreme Court,” Posner says. “Absolutely no desire to be on it.”
Posner also reveals in the interview that he works from home at least half the time, and one
reason is his cat, Pixie. “I’m a very big cat person,” Posner says. Pixie is affectionate and
“her little face falls” if Posner or his wife leaves the house. “The cat wants us at home,” he
says.

Copyright 2018 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.


http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/posner_most_judges_regard_pro_se_litigants_as_kind_of_trash_nor_worth_the_t/

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JUDICIARY

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS (HTTP://WWW.ABAJOURNAL.COM/AUTHORS/4/)


POSTED SEPTEMBER 11, 2017, 11:57 AM CDT
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Judge Richard Posner cites boredom with judging as well as


rebuffed efforts to aid pro se litigants in a new interview explaining
his decision to suddenly retire from the Chicago-based 7th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals.

Posner, 78, told the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin


(http://www.abajournal.com/news/article
last
/why_did_posner_retire_he_cites_difficulty_with_his_colleagues_on_one_issue)
week that he decided to retire because of conflicts with his
Judge Richard Posner. colleagues over the treatment of pro se litigants, who represent
themselves. In a new interview with the New York Times
(https://nyti.ms/2xVeS8m), Posner elaborated on his concerns about the treatment of such
litigants.
“The basic thing is that most judges regard these people as kind of trash not worth the time
of a federal judge,” Posner said.
In the 7th Circuit, staff lawyers review appeals from pro se litigants, and their
recommendations are generally rubber-stamped by judges, he noted.
Posner wanted to give the pro se litigants a better shake by reviewing all of the staff
attorney memos before they went to the panel of judges. Posner had approval from the
director of the staff attorney program. “But the judges, my colleagues, all 11 of them, turned
it down and refused to give me any significant role. I was very frustrated by that,” Posner
said.
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/posner_most_judges_regard_pro_se_litigants_as_kind_of_trash_nor_worth_the_t/

Posner has written about the pro se issue in an upcoming book, and its publication “would
be particularly awkward” if he remained on the court because it “implicitly or explicitly”
criticizes the other judges, he said.
Posner said he began to focus on the problems of pro se litigants about six months ago
when he “awoke from a slumber of 35 years.” He decided to write the book and “realized, in
the course of that, that I had really lost interest in the cases,” he told the Times.
“And then I started asking myself, what kind of person wants to have the same identical job
for 35 years? And I decided 35 years is plenty. It’s too much. Why didn’t I quit 10 years
ago? I’ve written 3,300-plus judicial opinions.”
Subsequent coverage:
ABAJournal.com (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article
/7th_circuits_chief_judge_responds_to_posner_on_pro_se_criticisms): “7th Circuit’s chief judge responds to
Posner on pro se criticisms”

Copyright 2018 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.


http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/senate_judiciary_committee_chair_grassley_suggests_judiciary_needs_an_inspe/

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JUDICIARY

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS (HTTP://WWW.ABAJOURNAL.COM/AUTHORS/4/)


POSTED JUNE 15, 2018, 7:05 AM CDT
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Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck


Grassley said Wednesday that it may be time for an
independent inspector general to handle misconduct
complaints against the federal judiciary.
Speaking at a committee hearing, Grassley said
nearly every federal agency has a watchdog that can
guard against misconduct, report the National Law
Journal (https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2018/06/13/senate-
committee-questions-judiciarys-anti-harassment-efforts-after-kozinski-
scandal/) and CNN (https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/13/politics/senate-
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa hearing-judges-metoo-grassley/index.html). “It’s time for the
(https://www.grassley.senate.gov/). federal judiciary to catch up,” he said. Bloomberg Big
Law Business (https://biglawbusiness.com/few-repercussions-
for-retired-judges-accused-of-sex-harassment/) and the Huffington Post (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry
/federal-courts-sexual-harassment_us_5b214724e4b09d7a3d79931f) also have coverage of the hearing.

Judicial officials have taken the position that an inspector general isn’t needed, and could
violate separation of powers principles, according to CNN.
Grassley criticized a recent report by a federal court working group that said the judiciary
should revise codes of conduct to promote appropriate behavior. The report also said
judges have a special responsibility to promote appropriate behavior and report misconduct
by others, including other judges.
Grassley said in a June 5 statement (https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-schedules-
hearing-misconduct-federal-judiciary) that the report “kicks the can down the road” and leaves specific
policy changes to other committees.
At Wednesday’s hearing, James Duff, the director of the Administrative Office of the U.S.
Courts, said the judiciary has a process that works when it’s used. The problem, he said, it
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/senate_judiciary_committee_chair_grassley_suggests_judiciary_needs_an_inspe/

that some misconduct might go unreported because employees find the process to be too
complicated, they don’t know about it or they fear retaliation.
The working group was formed at the request of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. after 15
women accused Judge Alex Kozinski of misconduct in interviews with the Washington
Post. Kozinski, a judge on the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,
announced his immediate retirement (http://www.abajournal.com/admin_tools/article_draft/63666) in
December.

Copyright 2018 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.


http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/suspect_in_capital_gazette_shooting_lost_pro_se_case_court_said_he_misunder

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CRIMINAL LAW

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS (HTTP://WWW.ABAJOURNAL.COM/AUTHORS/4/)


POSTED JUNE 29, 2018, 9:03 AM CDT
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A Maryland man who was a losing pro se plaintiff in a


defamation suit against the Capital Gazette
newspaper chain has been charged with five counts
of murder in the Thursday shooting deaths of five
newsroom employees. Jarrod Ramos of Laurel is
accused of firing a shotgun through the doors of the
newsroom and opening fire, killing two editors, a
reporter, a community correspondent and a sales
assistant, report the Washington Post
(https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/five-dead-in-shooting-
at-Capital gazette-paper-suspect-in-custody/2018/06/29/374b0292-7b7e-
11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html) and the Capital Gazette
in stories here (http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis
Capital Gazette Communications /bs-md-ramos-search-20180628-story.html) and here
publishes newspapers in (http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-gazette-shooting-
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County 20180628-story.html).
and Kent Island, Maryland.
Ramos has a degree in computer engineering and
he had worked for the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics, according to the article that sparked Ramos’ 2012 suit.
Ramos had sued the newspaper and its former editor and publisher over the July 2011
story by then-columnist Eric Hartley. The story headline was “Jarrod wants to be your
friend.”
The article reported on Ramos’ guilty plea to a misdemeanor harassment charge that
stemmed from his online contacts with a former high school classmate he connected with
through Facebook. The woman had suggested a counseling center for Ramos because he
was having problems.
That sparked emails in which Ramos called the woman vulgar names and told her to kill
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/suspect_in_capital_gazette_shooting_lost_pro_se_case_court_said_he_misunder

herself, the article reported. She believes she was laid off from her job because of an email
and phone call to her employer from Ramos.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed dismissal of Ramos’ suit in September
2015, the Capital Gazette reported at the time (http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/ph-ac-cn-jarrod-ramos-
ruling-0923-20150922-story.html). The opinion is here (http://170.99.108.1/appellate/unreportedopinions
/2015/2281s13.pdf).

A judge who dismissed the case told Ramos “there is absolutely not one piece of evidence”
of a false statement. The judge said he understands that Ramos’ feels the subject of
newspaper articles should be placed in the best light, but it’s “simply not true” that he has
that right.
The appeals court noted that Ramos was pro se and affirmed. The appeals court wrote:
“A discussion of defamation law would be an exercise in futility, because the appellant fails
to come close to alleging a case of defamation. In his five-page brief, the appellant devotes
two and one-half pages to legal argument. He never alleges that any basic fact contained in
the article about his guilty plea is actually false. He claims only that ‘Hartley’s column fails
the test of fairness because he editorialized on the story’s meaning.’ There is no allegation
of any specific harm that he suffered as a result of the article. He simply described the
harm as ‘incalculable, unforeseen, and potentially unknowable.’ That does not do it.
“The appellant is pro se. A lawyer would almost certainly have told him not to proceed with
this case. It reveals a fundamental failure to understand what defamation law is and, more
particularly, what defamation law is not. The appellant is aggrieved because the newspaper
story about his guilty plea assumed that he was guilty and that the guilty plea was,
therefore, properly accepted. He is aggrieved because the story was sympathetic toward
the harassment victim and was not equally understanding of the harassment perpetrator.
The appellant wanted equal coverage of his side of the story. He wanted a chance to put
the victim in a bad light, in order to justify and explain why he did what he did. That,
however, is not the function of defamation law.”
Ramos “is not entitled to equal sympathy with his victim and may not blithely dismiss her
as a ‘bipolar drunkard.’ He does not appear to have learned his lesson,” the appeals court
said.

Copyright 2018 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.


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2017–2018
World Justice Project
Rule of Law Index ®
The WJP Rule of Law Index 2017–2018® report was prepared by the World Justice Project’s research team. The Index’s
conceptual framework and methodology were developed by Juan Carlos Botero, Mark David Agrast, and Alejandro Ponce.
Data collection and analysis for the 2017–2018 report was performed by Kate Adams, Juan Carlos Botero, Alicia Evangelides,
Amy Gryskiewicz, Camilo Gutiérrez Patiño, Matthew Harman, Roberto Hernández, Alexa Hopkins, Jeremy Levine-Drizin,
Sarah Chamness Long, Rachel Martin, Layda Negrete, Alejandro Ponce, Christine S. Pratt, and Leslie Solís Saravia, with the as-
sistance of Abigail Cameron, Erin Campbell, Ben Carleton, Annette Coto, Loralys McDaniel, Carolyne Musyoka, Kelly Ranttila,
Jessica Sawadogo, Nathan Treacy, and Katie Welgan.

Lead graphic designer for this report was Priya Khosla.

Lead website designer was Dan McCarey, with assistance from Priya Khosla.

The World Justice Project

Board of Directors: Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, Kamel Ayadi, William C. Hubbard, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Suet-Fern Lee,
Mondli Makhanya, William H. Neukom, Ellen Gracie Northfleet, James R. Silkenat, Petar Stoyanov.

Directors Emeritus: President Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

Officers: Mark D. Agrast, Vice President; Deborah Enix-Ross, Vice President; William C. Hubbard, Chairman of the Board;
Gerold W. Libby, General Counsel and Secretary; Judy Perry Martinez, Vice President; William H. Neukom, Founder and CEO;
James R. Silkenat, Director and Treasurer.

Executive Director: Juan Carlos Botero

Chief Research Officer: Alejandro Ponce

The WJP Rule of Law Index 2017–2018 report was made possible by the generous supporters of the work of the World Justice
Project listed in this report on page 197.

IBSN (print version): 978-0-9882846-2-3 IBSN (online version): 978-0-9882846-3-0

© Copyright 2018 by the World Justice Project. The WJP Rule of Law Index and the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index
are trademarks of the World Justice Project. All Rights Reserved. Requests to reproduce this document should be sent to
Alejandro Ponce, The World Justice Project, 1025 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20005 U.S.A.

E-mail: aponce@worldjusticeproject.org
World Justice Project
Rule of Law Index ®
2017–2018
Part Two
Part One Status of Rule of
Introduction Law Around the World
Executive Summary 05 Rule of Law Around the World 20

Scores & Rankings 06 Rule of Law by Region 22

Features of the Rule of Law Index 08 Rule of Law by Income 26

Defining the Rule of Law 10 Rule of Law Performance & Changes 30

Conceptual Framework of the Rule of Law Index 12

Indicators of the Rule of Law Index 14

Part Three Part Four


Factor Trends Country Profiles
Changes in Factor Scores 32 How to Read the Country Profiles 46
Overview of Factor Changes 34
Overview of Factor Performance 35
Rule of Law by Factor Part Five
Factor 1: Constraints on Government Powers 36
Behind the Numbers
Factor 2: Absence of Corruption 37

Factor 3: Open Government 38 Methodology 162


Factor 4: Fundamental Rights 39 Contributing Experts 170
Factor 5: Order & Security 40 Acknowledgements 193

Factor 6: Regulatory Enforcement 41 About the World Justice Project 196

Factor 7: Civil Justice 42

Factor 8: Criminal Justice 43


Part One: Introduction

World Justice Project


Rule of Law Index

The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® is the world’s most comprehensive
dataset of its kind and the only to rely principally on primary data, measuring countries’
adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences.

The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2017– The country scores and rankings for the WJP Rule of Law
2018 is the seventh report in an annual series, which Index 2017–2018 are derived from more than 110,000
measures the rule of law based on the experiences and household surveys and 3,000 expert surveys in 113
perceptions of the general public and in-country experts countries and jurisdictions. The Index is the world’s most
worldwide. Strengthening the rule of law is a major goal comprehensive dataset of its kind and the only to rely
of citizens, governments, donors, businesses, and civil principally on primary data, measuring countries’ adherence
society organizations around the world. To be effective, rule to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people
of law development requires clarity about the fundamental and their experiences.
features that define the rule of law, as well as an adequate
basis for its evaluation and measurement. The Index is intended for a broad audience that includes
policy makers, civil society organizations, academics,
The WJP Rule of Law Index 2017–2018 presents a portrait citizens, and legal professionals, among others. It is our
of the rule of law in 113 countries by providing scores and hope that this diagnostic tool will help identify countries’
rankings based on eight factors: constraints on government strengths and weaknesses and encourage policy choices
powers, absence of corruption, open government, funda- that strengthen the rule of law within and across countries.
mental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement,
civil justice, and criminal justice.

2017–2018 WJP Rule of Law Index I 5


Part One: Introduction

Summary Chart
Overall Scores & Rankings
This table presents the scores and rankings of the WJP Rule of Law Index 2017–2018, in
alphabetical order. Scores range from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating the strongest adherence to
the rule of law.
Global Rank Score Global Rank Score
Score* Rank Change1 Change* Score* Rank Change1 Change*

Afghanistan 0.34 111 – 0.00 Denmark 0.89 1 – 0.01


Albania 0.51 68 4 0.00 Dominica 0.60 41 1 - 0.01
Antigua & Barbuda 0.63 34 5 - 0.04 Dominican Republic 0.47 90 5 0.00
Argentina 0.58 46 5 0.03 Ecuador 0.47 85 6 0.02
Australia 0.81 10 1 0.00 Egypt 0.36 110 – 0.00
Austria 0.81 8 1 - 0.02 El Salvador 0.48 79 4 - 0.01
Bahamas 0.60 40 2 - 0.01 Estonia 0.80 12 2 0.01
Bangladesh 0.41 102 1 0.00 Ethiopia 0.38 107 – 0.00
Barbados 0.65 30 2 - 0.02 Finland 0.87 3 – 0.00
Belarus 0.51 65 8 - 0.02 France 0.74 18 3 0.02
Belgium 0.77 15 2 - 0.02 Georgia 0.61 38 4 - 0.04
Belize 0.47 81 1 0.00 Germany 0.83 6 – 0.00
Bolivia 0.38 106 2 - 0.02 Ghana 0.59 43 1 0.01
Bosnia & Greece 0.60 39 2 0.00
0.53 56 6 - 0.03
Herzegovina Grenada 0.61 36 5 - 0.05
Botswana 0.58 45 – 0.01 Guatemala 0.44 96 1 0.00
Brazil 0.54 52 – - 0.02 Guyana 0.50 73 3 0.01
Bulgaria 0.53 55 2 - 0.01 Honduras 0.40 103 1 - 0.02
Burkina Faso 0.51 70 9 0.02 Hong Kong SAR,
0.77 16 – 0.00
Cambodia 0.32 112 – 0.00 China
Cameroon 0.37 109 – 0.00 Hungary 0.55 50 1 - 0.02
Canada 0.81 9 3 0.00 India 0.52 62 4 0.00
Chile 0.67 27 1 - 0.02 Indonesia 0.52 63 2 0.00
China 0.50 75 5 0.02 Iran 0.48 80 6 0.01
Colombia 0.50 72 1 0.00 Italy 0.65 31 4 0.00
Costa Rica 0.68 24 1 0.00 Jamaica 0.58 47 – 0.00
Cote d’Ivoire 0.47 84 3 0.01 Japan 0.79 14 1 0.01
Croatia 0.61 35 4 0.01 Jordan 0.60 42 – 0.01
Czech Republic 0.74 17 – - 0.01 Kazakhstan 0.51 64 9 0.01

* Scores and change in scores are rounded to two decimal places.

1 The change in rankings was calculated by comparing the positions of the 113 countries measured in 2016 with the rankings of the same 113 countries in 2017–2018.
Global Rank Score Global Rank Score
Score* Rank Change1 Change* Score* Rank Change1 Change*

Kenya 0.45 95 5 0.02 Sierra Leone 0.45 93 2 0.01


Kyrgyzstan 0.47 82 1 0.00 Singapore 0.80 13 4 - 0.02
Lebanon 0.47 87 2 0.01 Slovenia 0.67 26 1 0.00
Liberia 0.45 94 – 0.01 South Africa 0.59 44 1 0.00
Macedonia, FYR 0.53 57 3 - 0.01 Spain 0.70 23 1 0.01
Madagascar 0.44 98 8 - 0.02 Sri Lanka 0.52 59 9 0.01
Malawi 0.51 66 3 0.00 St. Kitts & Nevis 0.66 28 2 0.00
Malaysia 0.54 53 3 0.00 St. Lucia 0.63 33 3 - 0.01
Mexico 0.45 92 4 0.00 St. Vincent & the
0.61 37 – 0.00
Moldova 0.49 78 1 0.00 Grenadines

Mongolia 0.54 51 4 0.00 Suriname 0.51 69 10 - 0.02

Morocco 0.51 67 7 - 0.02 Sweden 0.86 4 – 0.00

Myanmar 0.42 100 2 - 0.01 Tanzania 0.47 86 2 0.00

Nepal 0.53 58 5 0.01 Thailand 0.50 71 7 - 0.01

Netherlands 0.85 5 – - 0.01 Trinidad & Tobago 0.56 48 – - 0.01

New Zealand 0.83 7 1 0.00 Tunisia 0.53 54 4 0.00

Nicaragua 0.43 99 2 0.01 Turkey 0.42 101 2 - 0.01

Nigeria 0.44 97 1 - 0.01 Uganda 0.40 104 1 0.01

Norway 0.89 2 – 0.01 Ukraine 0.50 77 1 0.01

Pakistan 0.39 105 1 0.01 United Arab


0.65 32 1 - 0.01
Emirates
Panama 0.52 61 1 0.00
United Kingdom 0.81 11 1 0.00
Peru 0.52 60 5 0.01
United States 0.73 19 1 - 0.01
Philippines 0.47 88 18 - 0.04
Uruguay 0.71 22 2 - 0.01
Poland 0.67 25 3 - 0.04
Uzbekistan 0.46 91 2 0.01
Portugal 0.72 21 2 0.01
Venezuela 0.29 113 – 0.01
Republic of Korea 0.72 20 1 - 0.01
Vietnam 0.50 74 7 - 0.01
Romania 0.65 29 3 0.00
Zambia 0.47 83 2 0.00
Russia 0.47 89 3 0.01
Zimbabwe 0.37 108 – 0.00
Senegal 0.55 49 3 - 0.02
Serbia 0.50 76 2 0.00

2017–2018 WJP Rule of Law Index I 7


https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/digital-journalists-legal-guide/entities-subject-law-0

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit association dedicated to assisting


journalists since 1970

Type: ESSAY

The federal Freedom of Information Act requires that agencies make available "to any person" certain records, subject to
some exemptions, for inspection and copying. Agency, as defined by FOIA, includes “each authority of the Government of
the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency.” However, the definition excludes
major governmental bodies that are, therefore, not subject to FOIA, including Congress and federal courts. Similarly,
state-level public records laws delineate which offices’ records are subject to disclosure. It is important to make sure that
the office from which you are requesting records is actually subject to the law’s provisions. Check out our state open
government guide to see what entities are subject to open records in [state].

(1) The Executive Office: On the federal level, the President and his immediate staff and advisors, including the Office of
the Vice President and the Office of Administration are not subject to FOIA. However, the Executive Office of the
President, which is headed by the President’s White House Chief of Staff and includes the Office of Management and
Budget and the Council of Economic Advisors is subject to FOIA. Also subject to FOIA are the various cabinet offices
that are within the executive branch. This includes, for example, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and
Treasury. In individual states, records of the governor are generally open to disclosure. While Louisiana wholly exempts
its governor's records from the records law and other states, like Vermont and Delaware, recognize a limited executive
privilege, the general rule among states is that the governor and other agency heads must comply with the records laws,
absent the applicability of a specific exemption. On both the federal and state level, records disclosure, of course, subject
to various exemptions.

(2) Federal and State/Local Agencies: Federal bodies like the Federal Communications Commission are also subject to
FOIA. Records laws use terms like “agency,” “public agency,” or "public body" in their language and define this to
include, as the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act does, as “any . . . office of the state or political subdivision . . . any
department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority . . .” These definitions generally include state and local level
agencies and advisory boards and committees created by the agencies. [Check out our State Open Government Guide to
see what the law is in [your state] to see how public agency is defined.]

(3) Legislative Branch: The federal FOIA does not apply to Congress. Whether a state legislature is subject to its records
laws varies. For example, the legislative body in Delaware, California and Massachusetts are exempt from records laws.
Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri legislatures, however, are subject to the open records laws. Where the legislature is
subject to disclosure, the records may still be properly withheld under an exemption to the law. [Check out our State Open
Government Guide to see what the law is in [your state] regarding access to legislative records.]

(4) Courts: The federal courts are not subject to FOIA, though court records are generally still accessible under common
https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/digital-journalists-legal-guide/entities-subject-law-0

law and First Amendment rights of access. Applicability of state records laws to the state courts varies. Many laws are
silent on the issue and even when courts are specifically included, there often arises a separation of powers issue -- that is,
there is an issue where the legislature is viewed to have disproportionate control over the court system when the two
branches of government are meant to be wholly separate and of equal power. In Kentucky, the open records law does
include court records in its language, however, the state Supreme Court held that the law does not apply to the courts
because the legislature does not have authority over courts. Other states, like California and Michigan, specifically exempt
the judiciary from the records law. [Check out our State Open Government Guide to see what the law is in [your state] to
see whether judicial records are subject to the open records law.]

(5) Private and Quasi-Private Entities: Private entities are generally not subject to federal FOIA. A quasi-private entity is
one that, while private, conducts government business. For example, in 2000, the Colorado Court of Appeals determined
that a nonprofit corporation was subject to the state open records law in Denver Post Corp. v. Stapleton Development
Corp. The company, while private, had been created by the city of Denver and tasked by to redevelop a former airport
through the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. The court held the private corporation was subject to the state open records
act because the project was of a public nature, on publicly owned land and because the city had significant control over the
project and the corporation.

A federal court may also find private or quasi-private activities subject to FOIA if it is determined that the government
retains custody and control of the records. No matter how much federal money an entity receives, the U.S. Supreme Court
held in Forsham v. Harris that to determine whether an entity's records are public is a question of control. It is not clear,
however, how much control over an outside entity is needed to satisfy that test, as the Court in Forsham determined that a
mere right to possess and control the records is not enough to subject the entity to FOIA. Records must "have been, in fact,
obtained," according to the Court.

States often follow similar rules as the federal government, but many tend to follow a “functional equivalent” test to
determine if the records of private or quasi-private entity should be disclosable. That test involves determining whether
the entity has become essentially a branch of the government either through financial support or whether the entity performs
a task that is traditionally one conducted by government.

In Memorial Hospital-West Volusia, Inc. v. News-Journal Corp., a private company was found subject to the Florida open
records act after the West Volusia Hospital Authority transferred to it its duties to operate and maintain local hospitals.
"[I]n performing pursuant to the Agreement transferring the authorized function, West Volusia, Inc. was 'acting on behalf of'
the Authority."' When "acting on the behalf of" an agency, the Florida Supreme Court held that private entities are subject to
the state open records act.

States use differing language and look to different factors, but the Florida case is relatively typical. West Volusia, Inc. was
receiving benefits normally reserved for the government -- it was able to exercise the government's right to eminent domain
and received tax money to fund its operations. In addition, the company was performing a function that had been previously
tasked to a government authority. These factors added up, in the eyes of the court, to the company "acting on behalf of" the
government and, therefore, subject to the open records law. [Check out our State Open Government Guide to see what the
law is in [your state] in regards to accessing the records of private and quasi-private entities.]

Recent news articles from our website:

March 30, 2011 Wyoming high court affirms public’s right to salary data
https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/digital-journalists-legal-guide/entities-subject-law-0

March 29, 2011 Army will release records in court-martial transcript case

March 22, 2011 Bailout records not yet disclosed despite high court denial

March 14, 2011 Survey: Half of agencies abide by Obama FOIA policy

November 2, 2010 Alabama Court: Hospital sales subject to open records act

September 30, 2010 Court blocks access to Fannie-Freddie political donations

July 27, 2010 Minor league team ordered to disclose contract bids

July 16, 2010 University lodges appeal to keep foundation records private

April 30, 2010 White House continues arguing visitor logs are exempt records

Recent articles from our quarterly magazine,The News Media and the Law :

Winter 2011 Government privatization and government transparency

Winter 2011 States get social

Spring 2010 Data mining in the dark

Winter 2010 Courts say government e-mail can be ‘private’

Fall 2009 Federal Reserve locks vault on bailout records

Fall 2008 White House records and the big chill

Fall 2008 When an agency isn’t quite and agency

Fall 2008 Mining for records when open records laws do not apply

Summer 2008 Consistency Inconsistent

Publications

Federal Open Government Guide, Which Agencies are Covered?

Reporters Committee 50-state Open Government Guide

Outside Links

Citizen Media Law Project, Access to Government Information


https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/digital-journalists-legal-guide/entities-subject-law-0

Citizen Media Law Project, Access to Congress

Citizen Media Law Project, Access to Presidential Records

© Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


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