In most jurisdictions, the rule of law has been the core instrument used to implement rules, regulations and restrictions relating to forests. The results of this approach have relied on the effectiveness of the system for regulating through monitoring and reporting. Despite the obvious differences in the wider operating environment of forestry internationally, issues related to globalization have increased the need for comparison. The potential impact of certain social, economic and environmental differences on the nature of monitoring and information reporting is, therefore, important to forest policy and management. The analysis presented here considered data associated with forestry-related monitoring and information reporting to provide a comparative description of certain hard-law requirements in a sample of jurisdictions. This was done to shed light on the potential for coordinated monitoring and information reporting objectives to be mandated through inter-jurisdictional hard law. Our research suggests that further comparative analysis of hard law monitoring and information reporting requirements could form a central theme in defining the ‘ground rules’ of a global forest law.