Fair Trials and Freshfields to create data-led index of criminal justice systems 

Article by Fair Trials

Fair Trials has teamed up with international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to create an index that compares different countries’ criminal justice systems.

The Fair Trials Index will score criminal justice systems on their fairness and compliance with international human rights standards, making it possible for the first time ever to compare different countries’ criminal justice systems in an objective and impartial way.

“Data is changing the way we look at criminal justice, and there is growing recognition that it can be a powerful tool for much needed reforms,” said Norman Reimer, Global CEO of Fair Trials.

“Data can provide a crucial and unbiased insight into what is happening in criminal legal systems and expose key problem areas. We are very excited to be partnering with Freshfields on the Fair Trials Index project, which will use this data to analyse the performance of criminal legal systems across the world.”

There is no universal definition of fairness and there are considerable differences between different countries’ legal systems. Rather than analysing the laws and criminal justice policies of various countries, the Fair Trials Index will be primarily based on statistical data, and aspects of criminal justice systems that can be objectively measured.

This data could provide vital information about the performance of a criminal justice system and its ability to deliver fair and effective justice; identify crucial problem areas; and provide essential evidentiary basis for reform.

In its initial stages, volunteer legal researchers will assist Fair Trials by gathering data on criminal justice systems across the world.