Although Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) recognises that the rule of law is fundamental to sustainable development, the rule of law is at a crossroads. The formulation of SDG 16 takes a narrow view of the rule of law. This is particularly worrying during the current wave of autocratisation and closing space for institutions. It is time for rule of law actors to lead the rule of law down the right path by tackling the bigger principles neglected by SDG 16.
This brief discusses the formulation of SDG 16 and the resulting dangers of the Goal as a rule of law report card, and calls on rule of law actors to tackle fighting for the independence of institutions.
Author: Lauren McIntosh (Legal Officer at ILAC)