Rule of law dives into the world, but New Zealand remains high
And leading the East Asia and Pacific region
Almost 85% of the planet, or about 6.5 billion people, lives in a declining rule of law and the situation continues to deteriorate, a global report has revealed.
According to the 2021 World Justice Project (WJP) index released today, October 15, 2021, 82% of the countries in the index have experienced a decline in at least one dimension of civic space (civic participation, freedom of movement). opinion and expression, and freedom of assembly and association) and 94% of Index countries experienced increased delays in administrative, civil or criminal proceedings.
The Washington DC-based WJP project annually assesses the rule of law in 139 countries or jurisdictions and the 2021 report was the first after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020.
It defines the rule of law as a sustainable system of laws, institutions, norms and community engagement that delivers: accountability, fair laws, open government and accessible justice.
New Zealand in the lead
The index ranked countries on a scale of 0.90 (highest) to 0.27 (lowest) based on respect for the rule of law.
While most countries have experienced a negative trend in their rule of law, New Zealand has maintained its high status, ranking 7th out of 139 countries across the world.
New Zealand was also ranked among the 15 countries in the East Asia and Pacific region.
Denmark and Norway were ranked number 1 and 2 with an overall score of 0.90, followed by Finland (0.88), Sweden (0.86), Germany (0.84) and from the Netherlands and New Zealand (0.83).
At the end of the index are Venezuela at 139e place with an overall score of 0.27, preceded by Cambodia (138, with a score of 0.32), Congo (137), Egypt (136), Cameroon (135) and Afghanistan (134 ), all with a score of 0.35.
Australia scored 0.79 to be ranked 13e, India, with a score of 0.50 was ranked 79e, while China scored 0.47 was placed 98e on the Index.
The declines were widespread and observed in all corners of the world. For the second year in a row, in each region, a majority of countries declined or remained unchanged in their overall rule of law performance.
Top in East Asia and the Pacific
New Zealand ranked number 1 out of 15 in the East Asia and Pacific region, followed by Australia and Japan. The three lowest scoring countries in the region were the Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia, ranked 138 out of 139 countries in the world. Eleven of the 15 countries declined in East Asia and the Pacific, of which five countries had also declined the previous year.
New Zealand’s overall rule of law score has increased by less than 1% in this year’s index. Besides maintaining his position as in the previous year, he was ranked 7e out of 46 countries considered to be “high income countries”.
About the Rule of Law Index
The WJP Rule of Law Index is a quantitative assessment tool designed to provide a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.
The WJP Rule of Law Index is based on national surveys of more than 138,000 households and 4,200 legal practitioners and experts around the world. The WJP’s rule of law framework covers eight factors, including constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement , civil justice and criminal justice.
Data from the WJP Rule of Law Index is used as an indicator of political and legal freedom in the Basel AML Index, a money laundering risk assessment tool developed by the Basel Institute on Governance.
WJP co-founder and chief executive Bill Neukom said the index shows negative trends worsening during the pandemic period and the deterioration of the rule of law is spreading around the world.
“The areas that are experiencing the greatest decline globally include constraints on the powers of government, civic space, speed of justice and freedom from discrimination. With negative trends in so many countries, this year’s WJP Rule of Law Index should be a wake-up call to all of us, ”he said.
Describing the rule of law as the very foundation of communities of justice, opportunity and peace, Neukom said strengthening that foundation should be a top priority for the next period of post-pandemic recovery.
The Index, with its annual report, is considered up-to-date and reliable information for policy makers, civil society organizations, academics, citizens and legal professionals, among others, and aims to encourage reforms policies, guide program development and inform research to strengthen the Rule. of the law.
How countries are rated
The countries where the rule of law has improved the most over the past year are Uzbekistan (4.1%), Moldova (3.2%) and Mongolia (2.0%). The countries with the largest decline in the rule of law over the past year were Belarus (-7.5%) and Myanmar (-6.3%). Nigeria, Nicaragua, the Kyrgyz Republic and Argentina are tied for the third largest decline (-3.7%).
High Income Countries and Jurisdictions: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Austria; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belgium; Canada; Chile; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong SAR, China; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Korea, Rep. ; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Mauritius; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Panama; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Singapore; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Sweden; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; UK; United States; Uruguay.
Importance of WJP
The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization that works to create knowledge, raise awareness and stimulate action to advance the rule of law around the world. An effective rule of law reduces corruption, fights poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small.
It underpins development, responsible government and respect for fundamental rights, and it is the foundation of communities of justice, opportunity and peace.